Nineteen local authorities are set to carry out “mini-Holland” feasibility studies to assess how their areas could be as pedestrian and cycle-friendly as their Dutch city equivalents.
The authorities, including Nottinghamshire, Hull and Manchester, will receive a share of £1.5 million to carry out the study.
It comes as theGovernment announces £200 million funding for new walking and cycling schemes across England.
A total of £161 million will be awarded to 134 local authority schemes by the government’s new executive agency Active Travel England for new footways, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings across 46 local authorities outside London.
The projects will create new routes and improve existing ones, including new junctions and pedestrian crossings in Liverpool, new segregated cycle lanes across the north-east and a new “travel corridor” in Gloucestershire with reduced traffic and high-quality cycle routes.
The Government says it will also inject £35 million to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of the National Cycle Network, a UK-wide network of paths and routes for walking, cycling or wheeling managed by the independent charity Sustrans. The new funding will see the upgrading of 44 off-road-sections of the network.
Up to £8 million is going towards a new programme to accelerate the uptake of e-cycles by offering short and long-term loans of e-cycles. The pilot scheme, which will be delivered by Cycling UK, launched earlier this week in Greater Manchester, aims to help those with longer or hillier journeys to cycle and access employment opportunities in a way that’s not only more affordable but is easier, faster and good for our planet.
The latest £200 million is part of the £2 billion for cycling and walking announced by the Prime Minister in 2020. The Government says that the money has already delivered hundreds of schemes and cycling rose by almost 50% in 2020 to 2021. Active Travel England will provide the funding and oversee the new schemes.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “This multimillion-pound investment will ensure people right across the country can access cheap, healthy and zero-emission travel.
“Active Travel England will be working hard to create a new golden age of walking and cycling, enabling everyone to reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle, creating streets where children can play and making nicer places to live.”
Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman commented: “Active Travel England is going to make sure high-quality spaces for cycling, wheeling and walking are delivered across all parts of England, creating better streets, a happier school run and healthier, more pleasant journeys to work and the shops.”
- Funds of £2 million will also go towards Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival – free events to help people start or return to cycling by fixing bikes, teaching skills and leading rides.
- People travelling to and around Hope Valley in the heart of the Peak District National Park will be able to do so by public transport, cycling or walking rather than by car thanks to £120,000 of funding also confirmed today.
- Hope Valley Climate Action’s Travelling Light project will benefit the whole country by leading the way in decarbonising rural travel and giving local residents and visitors more options to benefit their health, as well as conserving the beauty of the national park.