Shropshire Council has been awarded more than £600,000 from the UK government’s active travel fund following a successful funding bid, which will support the Meole active travel schools project in Shrewsbury.
The scheme includes improvements to an active travel corridor on Bank Farm Road, which is identified as a top priority scheme in the council’s draft cycling and walking plan (LCWIP).
Active Travel England has awarded the council £612,800, with £382,800 allocated for the corridor and £230,000 for the council’s School Streets scheme.
The Meole project is intended to help more people in this part of Shrewsbury to use active travel modes by providing a safe, attractive and continuous route that connects residences to key destinations in the area, including schools, work, leisure and other amenities.
Richard Marshall, cabinet member for highways, Shropshire Council, said: “The award of this funding is great news, and is recognition of our commitment to improving road safety and active travel opportunities.
“The safety of children travelling to and from school is vitally important and we’re grateful to the local community for highlighting their road safety concerns in the area, particularly in relation to walking and cycling in the vicinity of the nearby schools.
“Officers have been working closely with local residents and groups over the past few months as our plans have been developed and progressed, and this funding will help to make these plans a reality.”
The scheme includes: potential road safety improvements at the Longden Road / Roman Road roundabout;
a formal crossing at the Sweet Lake Meadow estate and a raised table on the Mousecroft Lane/Stanley Lane junction as a continuation of the pedestrian facilities; a 20mph zone in the area of Meole Brace School; and school travel planning for the area.
For Bank Farm Road, the council plans to introduce: a kerb segregated cycleway and footway; vehicle-activated signs (VAS) on Bank Farm Road; raised tables at the junction so the active travel route is continuous; and the removal of crossing points and replacing with raised tables; and a controlled crossing near the Longden Road junction.
As well as the government funding, the scheme will be funded through developer contributions, according to a statement from the council.
Ian Nellins, cabinet member with responsibility for active travel, said: “Shropshire Council is committed to providing active travel options across the council area and these projects will provide safer routes for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
“We look forward to implementing further schemes through our new cycling and walking plan, which is currently out to consultation and we encourage people to take a look and share their views.”
In October 2022, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet approved an 18-month ‘School Streets’ scheme trial and agreed that ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras would be used to enforce restrictions. Six schools are currently signed up to take part in the trial.
School Streets are streets outside of school gates that are pedestrianised (except for permit holders) during school drop-off and pick-up times.