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First Local Sustainable Transport projects given go ahead - BikeBiz

First Local Sustainable Transport projects given go ahead

£155m granted to schemes, some of which feature cycling
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The Local Sustainable Transport Fund has revealed where the first £155 million worth of grants have been given the go ahead.

The Fund was created by the coalition after scrapping both Cycling England and its cycling-dedicated funding pot.

The first batch of successful funding affects 39 projects, covering eight regions and 37 local authorities. All have been judged as effective in two key areas: creating growth and cutting carbon.

Cycling is at least an element of some of the successful projects. The DfT has provided details of some of the schemes it has granted cash to:
• South Yorkshire, where there are plans to introduce a ‘wheels to work’ scheme to help those in the most isolated areas get to work by bike, scooter or electric scooter, as well as new cycle infrastructure and a ‘Jobconnector’ bus service to provide access to a new employment site.
• Oxford, where the council plans to support economic growth and development in the town centre by expanding the park and ride scheme, while introducing a single integrated smart card for car parking, buses and cycle hire.
• Lowestoft, where a new swing bridge for pedestrians and cyclists will enable residents and visitors to travel more easily within the town, targeting a congestion pinch point to bring additional footfall to local shops.
• Stratford upon Avon, where plans include a new rail station and supporting train services; park and ride bus service enhancement and a walking and cycling facility to link the station with key residential and employment areas.
• Hampshire, where there are plans for a package of measures including car sharing, electric vehicle charging posts and improvement to bus services, by providing better information and ticketing using a smart phone application.
• Plymouth, whose bid to introduce ITSO smart ticketing will support economic growth, reduce carbon and enhance social mobility throughout the South West of England.

“I am delighted to be able to fund these excellent projects,” said Transport Minister Norman Baker. “All the winning schemes have one thing in common – they will help build strong local economies while addressing the urgent challenge of climate change.

“We have empowered local authorities to create packages of sustainable initiatives that are tailored for their local areas, and this is only the beginning – even more funding will be announced next summer following a second round of bids.”

Sustrans chief exec Malcolm Shepherd welcomed the investment.

He said: “Sustrans is pleased to see this investment in 39 local sustainable transport schemes. The range and variety of successful bids shows the level of commitment from local authorities for getting more people walking, cycling and using public transport. Our work shows that with the right investment, nine out of ten local journeys could be made on foot, bike and public transport, helping to improve health, reduce carbon emissions, tackle congestion and improve access to jobs and other essential services.

“And, most crucially as the public sector looks to minimise spending, they provide excellent value for money with some schemes returning around £8 worth of benefits for every pound invested.

“Sustrans has been working for many years with many of the successful bidders, and we look forward to continuing to transform the way people travel for everyday journeys.”

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