Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has launched a new £800,000 funding package and interactive web portal to help businesses encourage sustainable travel across the city.
According to TfGM, the support package and portal will help businesses and employers embed sustainable travel behaviours, head-off a car-led recovery and build back better from the pandemic.
The new funding package is divided into two categories. For SMEs, with fewer than 250 staff, a share of £250,000 is available. This is intended for cycle parking, pool bikes and changing or storage solutions, with up to £10,000 per application.
Additionally, a £550,000 pot aims to help provide cycle parking for small businesses and organisations, NHS, Housing Associations, and schools located within 400m of eligible Bee Network cycling and walking schemes being delivered in 2021.
Alongside the extra funding being delivered to support active travel, a new interactive online portal provides a wide range of advice and resources, including a live chat function, to support business and employers in travel planning and options for encouraging and embedding sustainable transport. This includes options that support flexible working practices and take the pressure off the traditional peak times.
Elise Wilson, leader of Stockport council and GM economy and business lead, said: “The last 16 months have been exceptionally tough for everyone, but it has given us the opportunity to reset our thinking on how, when and where people work and travel, to the benefit of all our residents and visitors.
“Congestion cost business in Greater Manchester £1.3bn before the pandemic and we really want to head off a car-led recovery and a return to that situation. To do that we need to embed smarter ways of commuting that not only cut congestion and reduce cost to business, but have tangible health, wellbeing and productivity benefits.
“This is a great opportunity and I’d encourage people to visit the interactive portal and find out more about the available funding and what you can be doing for your staff, suppliers and customers.”
Furthermore, to provide residents with the confidence to travel sustainably TfGM is launching a bike hire scheme in November and delivering 100km of cycling and walking routes and 95 EV charging points by end of the year, with a further 200 by end of 2022.