Ministers have announced the winners and losers of a pot of £64m for sustainable transport, with two bidders scooping around £7m each.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said the cash would encourage thousands more people to cycle and walk, although funds have been awarded to projects such as information for bus users and car sharing clubs.
Transport minister Andrew Jones
The new cash includes £60m from the revenue element of the Sustainable Travel Access Fund for 2017 to 2020 and £3.8m shared between three city regions from a new Cycling and Walking to Work Fund.
Under the Access Fund, a consortium bid including Blackpool Council has been awarded £7.5m, while the West of England, led by Bristol City Council, gets just under £7m.
Mr Jones said: ‘We are committed to improving how people travel and this investment will ensure that people’s journeys are cheaper, safer and better for the environment. It will help people to become more active and better transport planning will reduce congestion on our roads – particularly at peak times.’
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport said: ‘We strongly welcome this announcement of the access fund projects and the new cycling and walking to work fund. The evidence suggests that these kinds of projects can remove barriers to work, help local communities and businesses and also tackle local transport problems by giving people attractive alternatives to car use.’
The Department for Transport (DfT) said the cash forms part of a wider government package of more than £300m during the current parliament to boost walking and cycling and would deliver:
- more safety and awareness training for cyclists
- extra secure cycle storage
- bike repair and maintenance courses
- road safety measures
- mapping information for pedestrians
- real time bus information through smart phone apps or information at bus stops
- increased focus on car sharing clubs
As Transport Network has reported previously, the £300m pledged under the DfT’s draft walking and cycling investment strategy includes Access Fund revenue cash and will not necessarily all be spent on walking and cycling.