Plymouth City Council has been awarded an ‘indicative’ £249,000 aimed at providing emergency active travel solutions as a result of Covid-19.
The council has applied with the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Emergency Active Travel Fund for a further £995,000 in phase two for more permanent scheme plans.
If approved, the funding will be used to create a temporary, segregated cycling link through the city centre, from the railway station, through North Cross and Armada Way, to a new pop-up cycle parking facility outside the Guildhall.
As lockdown eases the scheme will help reduce potential conflict between an increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists and support a vibrant city centre, with active travel at its heart.
The Armada Way scheme will be complemented by a number of other measures including increased cycle parking at Milehouse park and ride, new ‘20mph when lights flash’ signs outside schools, the removal of unnecessary barriers on footpaths and cycleways and steps to tackle parking in cycle lanes.
Councillor Mark Coker, cabinet member for strategic planning and infrastructure, said: “We’re really pleased the Government is recognising the challenges local authorities are facing in helping people to get around following the lockdown and are making this money available.
“Since receiving the funding guidance around a week ago we’ve pulled out all the stops to submit a compelling bid that we think will help people start getting back to work and school on foot and by bike. The bid contains a range of exciting projects that will help support Plymouth’s COVID-19 recovery.”
The £249,000 will be used to enhance Plymouth’s current walking and cycling programme, which is set to deliver more than 16km of new and improved traffic-free links on the strategic cycle network, alongside major roads, through green spaces and on-road by April 2021.
Coker said: “We’ve had lots of suggestions from the public about what they’d like to see changed. The eligibility criteria for the second tranche of funding has yet to be announced and will be fundamental in shaping what goes into our next bid.”