£175 million more for councils in England for cycling and walking safe spaces

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DfT announce £175 million more for cycling and walking as research shows public support

Survey reveals 8 out of 10 people support measures to reduce road traffic; two-thirds support reallocating road space for active travel.

 

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

We want to do everything we can to make it easy for people to include some activity in their daily routines – whether that’s cycling to work or walking safely to school. We can see the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel, and this funding will help ensure the right infrastructure is in place to build truly active neighbourhoods

 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced Friday (13 November 2020) Govt has given councils across England a further £175 million to create safe space for cycling and walking as surveys and independent polls show strong public support for high-quality schemes. The funding comes as a survey last month reveals that 65% of people across England support reallocating road space to cycling and walking in their local area. Nearly 8 out of 10 people (78%) support measures to reduce road traffic in their neighbourhood. The new money will fund measures including:

· ‘School Streets’, where streets around schools are closed to motorists at school times

· low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), where residential side streets are closed to through traffic to stop rat-running

· segregated cycle lanes

· pedestrian improvements

These will give people more opportunities to choose cycling and walking for their day-to-day journeys, as part of wider government plans to boost active travel. However, the Transport Secretary has set tough new conditions on councils receiving funding, requiring them to ensure schemes are properly consulted on. This will help avoid the problems seen in a minority of the schemes developed in the first round of funding. If these conditions are not met by a council, the Transport Secretary has been clear that future funding allocations will be reduced and claw-backs could also be imposed. The multi-million-pound investment marks another step towards the government’s ambition to deliver more active travel options in communities across the country and build back greener – benefitting the nation’s health and the environment.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

It has been great to see so many people build cycling and walking into their daily travel habits. To support them, we know it’s vital to have the right infrastructure in place so everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – can use our roads.

 

As part of the Transport Secretary’s plan to ensure councils develop schemes that work for their communities, he has set out they must:

· publish plans to show how they will consult their communities, including residents, businesses and emergency services, among others

· show evidence of appropriate consultation prior to schemes being implemented

· submit monitoring reports on the implementation of schemes 6-12 months after their opening, highlighting how schemes have been modified based on local feedback to ensure they work for communities

Local authorities will be required to engage closely with the Department for Transport (DfT) throughout the process – while Active Travel England, when set up, will further assess plans for active travel schemes to ensure they are of the highest quality.

Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner Chris Boardman said:

Making it easier for people to get about on foot and by bike is the single best investment that councils can make because it doesn’t just address transport. Time and again, evidence shows that communities that prioritise cycling and walking enjoy major benefits – cleaner air, less congestion, improved health, and even a bigger average monthly spend at local shops and restaurants. I wholeheartedly support the government’s continued funding of this crucial work. The emphasis on more consultation is welcome too, so that we can ensure the best solutions are put in the right locations. If we get this right, many of these pop-up routes and low-traffic neighbourhoods will become a permanent and valued part of people’s daily lives. The industrial revolution started in Great Britain; now we should lead the green revolution.

 

 

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