Grant Shapps hands out £175 million for new walking and cycling schemes
The funding will go towards Low Traffic Neighbourhoods as well as School Streets, both of which the government hopes will promote walking and cyclng on a daily basis.
The government is hoping that this funding will lead to more people cycling in the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today (13 November 2020) 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 new money, part of the £2 billion announced for cycling and walking in May, 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, and segregated cycle lanes
The government hopes that these measures 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, Shapps has also 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 funding comes as a survey undertaken by Kantar Media last month reveals that 65 per cent of people across England support reallocating road space to cycling and walking in their local area. Nearly 8 out of 10 people (78 per cent) support measures to reduce road traffic in their neighbourhood.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes these schemes will be popular with the UK public: “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 added: “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.
“Whether you’re walking, cycling, driving or using public transport, people must have the space they need to get around safely.
“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.”