Some £200m in UK government-funded active travel schemes are expected to generate up to 16 million more walking and cycling trips a year across England, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.
Following consultation with local authorities across England, more than 265 schemes in 60 areas – including Yorkshire, Manchester, Devon and Leicester – will receive a share of the latest round of funding.
The investment, announced in February of this year, aims to deliver a range of schemes across England, including 121 miles of new cycle track, 77 miles of new paths and greenways and initiatives to make streets safer around 130 schools.
Active Travel England commissioner Chris Boardman said: “By giving millions of people the freedom of choice to walk, wheel or cycle for everyday trips, this funding will help us improve public health, tackle climate change and give hundreds of thousands of children the independence to travel safely under their own steam.
“Now our focus is working with councils to get these schemes built swiftly. We’ll be working together to ensure the projects are well-designed and effective, so that they bring maximum benefits to communities and help improve lives nationwide.”
READ MORE: Chris Boardman interview in CiTTi Magazine
According to the DfT, the winning projects have each demonstrated that they provide people with attractive choices to use cycling and walking for local journeys, and do not include any low traffic neighbourhood schemes.
Successful local authorities include Tamworth in Staffordshire, which will use the funding to enable active and safe modes of travel to schools, while Barnstaple and Ilfracombe in Devon will see an unused railway track converted into a walking and cycling route to connect rural communities.
The DfT said that safety and accessibility will be at the heart of improvements and creation of walking and cycling routes, meaning safety for women and children walking to school will be improved, and people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters will see street designs become more inclusive.
Cycling across England is said to be currently up 11% on pre-pandemic levels and has reportedly increased by more than 20% in the past 10 years.
Funding is being provided for both the development and construction of schemes. Some schemes are being provided with development funding only.