Ministers have announced a new £60m revenue competition aimed primarily at boosting walking and cycling.
Councils across England are being asked to bid for a share of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Sustainable Travel Access Fund.
The fund has been launched to encourage councils to offer sustainable transport initiatives that can improve access to jobs, skills, training and education.
The DfT said the money, which will support projects over 3 years from 2017 to 2020, ‘is part of a wider Government fund of over £300m to boost walking and cycling during the current parliament’.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill said: ‘Green sustainable transport schemes cut congestion, improve air quality and can make it easier for people to get around more efficiently and effectively.’
Councils are being encouraged to look at opportunities to work together on devising schemes and work alongside Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), many of whom will be including sustainable transport measures, including walking and cycling investment, in proposals to be submitted next month in a further round of Growth Deals where up to £1.8bn will be available.
Successful authorities will be asked to contribute 10% of their scheme costs.
Bridget Fox from Campaign for Better Transport said: ‘It's great that the Government is getting this vital programme off the ground. Every penny spent on sustainable travel is welcome, given the proven benefits to people's health, the environment and local economies.’
‘To secure real benefits across the country, this efficient fund should be expanded in future. Most funding for local transport schemes is still led by Local Enterprise Partnerships, who, as our LEP Watch research shows, typically allocate just £1 in every £100 for transport schemes on cycling.’
The results of an earlier competition were announced in May, with 23 council or combined authority projects sharing in £20.6m.
The closing date for councils to bid for a share of the new fund is 9 September. Councils across England can apply, excluding London which falls under the jurisdiction of the mayor.