In July 2005, in a written statement to the House, local authorities were invited to bid for £18 million of pump-priming development funding to bring forward packages of measures that combined better local public transport with hard demand management measures, such as road pricing. We also announced that we were prepared to ensure that up to £200 million a year would be available from the Transport Innovation Fund to support such packages.
So far 10 areas have benefited from this pump-priming funding, enabling them to analyse their current and emerging congestion issues and consider how demand management could form part of the solution. In March 2008, we announced that we were extending the commitment to make available up to £200 million a year up to 2018-19, in line with our long term funding profile for transport, and inviting authorities to bid for further pump-priming development funding for 2008 and 2009.
I am today announcing the first successful area to benefit from this additional funding. We are making up to £500,000 available to the West of England Partnership (covering Bristol City council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council) to take forward the development of their proposals for improved public transport and demand management.
I should be clear that receipt of this pump-priming funding is no guarantee that an authority will be successful in bidding for the main Transport Innovation Fund. We are, however, committed to working closely with the successful authorities to deliver the work programmes set out in their pump-priming bids and to support future decisions on the main Transport Innovation Fund.
Local authorities have until