The Government has allocated new funding to local councils, in order to implement and promote walking and cycling schemes…
Funds for Walking and Cycling Schemes
Local authorities are to receive £32.9 million in order to design ‘active travel schemes’, which promote both walking and cycling. They’ll also cover new school safety zones and wheelchair paths. It’s hoped that the new initiatives will remove existing barriers to alternative forms of travel.
Survey data has revealed that a considerable majority of women (79%) are put off cycling because of safety concerns. Safety will therefore centre in any of the active travel schemes that are introduced as a result of the funding.
The funding will also be used to improve the technical skills of councils. It’ll cover the likes of engaging with the public and travel network planning. Training will be available to both councillors and other members of council staff.
‘Strong Community Support’
Jesse Norman, the active travel minister, commented on the new funding. He said, “leaving the car and walking and cycling instead is an easy way to get fit, save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Better designed schemes, which take into account the views of local people will help deliver improvements that have widespread local support”.
He continued, “skills training and local community engagement will help local authorities to make active travel an attractive choice”.
Chris Boardman, national active travel commissioner, emphasised that there’s considerable public support for active travel. He said, “if we want to enable hundreds of thousands more people to walk, wheel and cycle for everyday trips then we need to deliver high-quality schemes that make it feel easy, fun and safe. Of course, ensuring the right technical skills are in place at a local level is vital but so is engagement”.
He concluded, “survey after survey has shown strong community support for making space for active travel but it’s vital that people get strong input into helping to decide what is the right solution for their area”.
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