DfT awards £200 million to active travel projects across England
As part of the £2 billion funding for active travel announced by the Prime Minister in 2020, 134 schemes that are working to improve cycling and walking infrastructure across England have been awarded a share of £200 million in DfT funding.
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that millions of people across England will be able to benefit from cleaner air and more affordable ways to travel and keep active, due to £200 million of government funding for new walking and cycling schemes across the country.
The government’s new executive agency Active Travel England, led by Chris Boardman, will oversee the delivery of 134 first-rate schemes, backed by £161 million, which include new footways, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings across 46 local authorities outside London.
In order to make it easier and cheaper for people to choose active and green ways of getting around while better connecting communities, the projects will create new routes and improve existing ones. These include new junctions and pedestrian crossings in Liverpool, new segregated cycle lanes across the northeast and a new travel corridor in Gloucestershire with reduced traffic and high-quality cycle routes.
Furthermore, 19 authorities – including in Nottinghamshire, Hull and Manchester – will also receive a share of £1.5 million for ‘mini-Holland’ feasibility studies, to assess how the areas could be as pedestrian and cycle-friendly as their Dutch city equivalents.
The government has also confirmed it will provide £35 million funding to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of the National Cycle Network, a UK-wide network of paths and routes for walking, cycling or wheeling managed by the independent charity Sustrans. The new funding will see 44 off-road-sections of the network upgraded to ensure they endure for years to come.
In addition, further funding is also being provided to the following projects and organisations:
- Up to £8 million is going towards a new programme to accelerate the uptake of e-bikes, which will be delivered by Cycling UK, by offering short and long-term loans of the vehicles
- A total of £2 million will be awarded to Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival, which delivers free events to help people start or return to cycling by fixing bikes, teaching skills and leading rides
- The Hope Valley Climate Action’s Travelling Light project has been awarded £120,000 funding, which will benefit the whole country by leading the way in decarbonising rural travel
- An additional £75,000 will go towards supporting DfT’s Active Travel team to implement Gear change, so its benefits reach disabled people.
The latest £200 million is part of the unprecedented £2 billion for cycling and walking announced by the Prime Minister in 2020. Earlier tranches of the money have already delivered hundreds of schemes. Active Travel England has been established to hold the budget and ensure that schemes are delivered to the new, higher standards set out in 2020.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “This multimillion-pound investment will ensure people right across the country can access cheap, healthy and zero-emission travel. Active Travel England will be working hard to create a new golden age of walking and cycling, enabling everyone to reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle, creating streets where children can play and making nicer places to live.”
Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman said: “This is all about enabling people to leave their cars at home and enjoy local journeys on foot or by bike. Active Travel England is going to make sure high-quality spaces for cycling, wheeling and walking are delivered across all parts of England, creating better streets, a happier school run and healthier, more pleasant journeys to work and the shops.”
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