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Cabinet to consider funding boost for local highways projects

Wiltshire Council's Cabinet will consider a proposal to increase funding and widen the scope of its current Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs).

Published 14 April 2022
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At its meeting on Tuesday 26 April, Wiltshire Council's Cabinet will consider a proposal to increase funding and widen the scope of its current Community Area Transport Groups (CATGs).

If approved, the changes will see CATGs rebranded to Local Highway and Footway Improvement Groups (LHFIGs) and local communities will be given a greater say - and more funding - to improve highways and footways in their areas.

The current CATG system allows communities to decide on the small-scale local highways projects they want in their area to improve safety and encourage walking and cycling. For example, a community's priorities could be the installation of a pedestrian crossing or a new 20mph speed limit.

Each group has a discretionary capital funding budget that is based on the geographical size and population of the community area, and this can only be spent on providing new highways infrastructure - not repairing or maintaining existing infrastructure. As well as their allocated funding, CATGs can also bid each year for extra money from a central fund for larger highways schemes.

If approved by Cabinet, the new LHFIGs would retain the same role as CATGs, but would have greater scope to also improve or repair infrastructure - for example, footway improvements or drainage works. The overall budget for the new LHFIGs would also increase from £250,000 currently with a further £400,000 of the council's capital funding, of which £250,000 will be made available to the LHFIGs, with £150,000 used to provide additional officer resource. It is also proposed that the central substantive fund is increased from £150,000 to £250,000.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: We want to ensure that Wiltshire communities are empowered, and that's where these groups - which comprise of Wiltshire councillors, town and parish council representatives and members of the local community - come in.

CATGs have been a real success, and with these proposed changes and the additional funding, we want to build on that by broadening the groups' scope. These groups benefit from local knowledge and can also prioritise to make decisions on the local highways issues that are most important to them.

If approved, the change from CATGs to LHFIGs will see significantly more investment into local highways and will also enable the new groups to improve and repair local highways and footways, as well as invest in capital projects.

To read the full Cabinet report, people can go to: (opens new window) 

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