Residents and businesses across West Yorkshire are set to benefit from increased access to active travel provision after the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) secured £1.35 million from the DfT’s new Capability Fund, following a submission to the Government in April.
Communities across the region will receive a boost in support, with 56 community organisations receiving funding to deliver a broad range of cycling and walking activities. These projects aim to help those worst affected by COVID-19 to become more active and help socially isolated people feel confident to be part of their community as restrictions are lifted.
Businesses and schools are also set to benefit. More grants will be available to employers to become more walk and cycle friendly, through the Combined Authority’s ‘Bike Friendly Business’ offer. Organisations who participate in the scheme typically see a 20% increase in staff cycling to work.
Support to help school children walk, cycle and scoot to school will be widened to pre-school age children for the first time through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, dedicated to enabling more people to travel by bike or on foot. CityConnect’s free cycle training offer will also be expanded and extended to become more inclusive. The training will offer support to people with disabilities to travel more actively as well as family cycling sessions, which are due to start in parks across West Yorkshire this summer.
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “My pledge to you as Mayor is to tackle the climate emergency and protect our environment. The ability to travel safely and more often by bike, and on foot is part of the bigger transport plans we have to reduce carbon emissions in West Yorkshire and one of the easiest ways that people can make sustainable travel choices, every day.
“This funding will help provide more to support even more communities, businesses and schools, opening access to cycling and walking routes, helping residents overcome barriers and connecting communities with opportunities for work, training and leisure.”
The new funding will also enable the Combined Authority to continue developing Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) across the five West Yorkshire districts. These plans are being developed through engagement with communities across the region and will set out where future investment in cycling and walking measures should be made.