44 sustainable transport schemes got the green light this week, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced. They will bring environmental, health and economic benefits to communities across England, said an announcement from the Department for Transport. The range of schemes will include improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, better bus journeys and new and upgraded transport interchanges allowing people to easily switch from one mode of transport to another.
The Department for Transport is providing £64 million towards the schemes in the latest round of its Local Sustainable Transport Fund, with Local Enterprise Partnerships investing over £100 million of the funding they received earlier this week as part of the Local Growth Fund. Further match funding will take the value of the package to over £440 million.
Baroness Kramer said:
“We know people want to choose to travel in a way that cuts congestion and carbon and which delivers real economic and environmental benefits. This funding makes that choice easier and more convenient for millions of people across the country by delivering new sustainable transport schemes throughout England.”
To be considered for funding, the schemes had to demonstrate how they would boost economic growth, reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and encourage higher levels of cycling and walking to improve public health. This complements the infrastructure schemes funded through the Local Growth Fund, including cycle networks across the country.
Today’s government funding is in addition to the £3bn being provided for transport through the Local Growth Fund, which included £600m for sustainable transport.
Responding to the news, Sustrans policy director Jason Torrance called for a commitment from all political parties to extend and expand the LSTF beyond 2016 to ensure the future of green transport. He said:
“Over the last four years, this green transport investment has begun to revolutionise the way people move around our towns and cities but just one year’s worth of LSTF funding will not bring about the cycling revolution that the Prime Minister says he wants.
"The £1.5bn allocated to road building over six years towers over this £64m investment to improve walking, cycling and public transport options in local communities.
“Government and political parties must commit to long term, dedicated funding for walking and cycling to end this postcode lottery and improve people's travel choices.”