Scheme finances and responsibilities

What are the financial implications of not delivering the Victoria Arch widening scheme? Who is liable for any financial penalties and how will residents be protected?

Project funding

The total project cost is £115 million, made up of £95 million Homes England grant funding, £10 million agreed contribution by Network Rail and around £10 million in initially planned borrowing by Woking Borough Council to support housing elements of the scheme to be recovered from site specific developer contributions (a Section106 tariff).

To bring forward the delivery of the relocation or reuse of existing access road, a business case will be developed outlining the engineering works involved and the associated costs, and submitted to Homes England for further funding.

Project liability

Woking Borough Council is the grant recipient and is liable for overrun/delay costs. Although Surrey County Council is a project partner in the delivery of the project, but it is not signatories of the contract with Homes England. 

Surrey County Council remains committed to the project and is content that Woking Borough Council will be responsible for project delivery, accountable as grant recipient, responsible for cost overruns, recovery, and any risk liability. 

Surrey County Council’s interests as highway authority will be protected through the S278 Highway Works Agreement. 

Network Rail is delivering the bridge element of the scheme which accounts for £65 million of the total project budget. Whilst Woking Borough Council is the grant recipient, and so is responsible for all project cost overruns, it has separate agreements with Network Rail for contracting the deliverability and costs of the bridge element and value engineering design and build is in place to ensure deliverability within the project costs. 

Questions submitted by members of the public

A significant number of questions were submitted by residents in advance of the public meeting, to be held on Tuesday 22 February 2022. The above question and answer aims to provide responses to the main points and topics raised by local residents. Any outstanding or additional questions received will be added in the future.

  • What is the projected final cost?
  • This project is mostly centrally funded. Who is liable for any overrun/delay costs above the government funding – is it WBC or SCC or both?
  • What are the financial implications for the Council/residents of not using the £115 million already allocated to the original plans? Having read of the possibility for Woking Borough Council to return grant money already received from Homes England, the retention of which is dependent upon the council delivering a vast numbers of high rise homes, do the panel feel that refusal of planning applications and the reduced town apartment demand will force this repayment and result in insufficient funds for the provision of the tunnels?
  • Is Network Rail actually contractually locked into the Victoria Arch widening scheme project?