- Lancashire to receive an extra £2,801,000 to boost cycling and walking infrastructure
- The Active Travel Fund is designed to create safe space for cycling and walking
- Part of the Government’s £2 billion investment into cycling and walking
Local MP Antony Higginbotham has welcomed news that Lancashire is set to receive an additional £2.8 million from the Government’s Active Travel Fund – designed to create safe space for cycling and walking.
The money will be provided to the local council and could be used to fund measures such as School Streets, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and segregated cycle lanes. In total, £175 million is being allocated to local authorities across England in the latest round of allocations from the fund.
Following discussions with local MPs, the Government has stipulated that councils receiving money will have to meet tough new conditions to ensure that schemes are properly thought out and that their impact on other road users are closely weighed up. Councils will also have longer to spend the money, ensuring there is time to consult local communities. If these conditions are not met, future funding allocations will be reduced and the Government could clawback some of the money already provided.
The Conservative Government has pledged a revolution in walking and cycling as part of its plans to level up the whole county, with the Prime Minister pledging a record £2 billion investment to double cycling and increase walking by 2025. This comes on top of more than £27 billion that will be invested in England’s roads over the next five years, ensuring the road network is safe, reliable and efficient.
Commenting, Antony Higginbotham MP said:
I know that many people have tried to avoid public transport over the past few months, opting to walk or even cycle. But too often we’re hampered by roads and walkways that are poorly designed for pedestrians and cyclists.
We need to see proper investment and I’m really pleased that the Government has recognised this and provided almost £3 million to Lancashire so we can design and develop better, and safer, routes which people want to use.
But it’s also right that this funding brings with it a requirement that local residents are consulted on any changes. They need to be thought through, ensuring we don’t create more problems by pedestrianizing an area and pushing traffic elsewhere.
Also commenting, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
It has been great to see so many people build cycling and walking into their daily travel habits. To support them, we know it’s vital to have the right infrastructure in place so everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – can use our roads.
This funding will help further realise that ambition, but councils must engage with communities to develop schemes that work for everyone – those that haven’t won’t be able to take their plans forward.