Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has called upon local authorities to apply for funding to the tune of £17 million to help provide safer routes to schools.
£140 million has been made available by the Department for Transport to promote cycling, £17 million of which is dedicated to the ‘Links to Schools’ programme. The 'Links' initiative aims to link residential areas to schools and bring the National Cycle Network closer to schools.
Sustrans is urging local authorities to apply for their share of the £17 million.
"Sustrans believes that every child in the country has the right to a safe walking and cycling route to school,” said Sustrans' chief executive Malcolm Shepherd. "This record breaking funding will mean that we can continue to work with local authorities to ensure this vision moves a step closer to becoming a reality."
Shepherd added: "It is vital that we do whatever we can to support children and young people to cycle and walk to school. Cycling and walking has so many benefits for pupils such as improved health, confidence and concentration as well as the obvious benefits for the environment in which they will grow up in.
"We know that concern for children's safety is a major barrier to cycling and walking. The Links to School programme aims to address these concerns by putting in place safe walking and cycling paths to and from schools."
Local authorities are encouraged to contact the School Travel Information Line on 0117 915 0100 for more details. As the funding has been allocated by the DfT, it is only available in England outside London, (where funding comes from TfL).