UK government invests £200m in Active Travel England projects

LinkedIn +

New executive agency Active Travel England, led by Chris Boardman, will oversee the delivery of 134 schemes, which includes new footways, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings across 46 local authorities outside London.

The projects will create new routes and improve existing ones, making it easier and cheaper for people to choose active and green ways of getting around while better connecting communities. These include 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.

In addition to £161m for the 134 local authorities schemes, 19 authorities – including in Nottinghamshire, Hull and Manchester – will also receive a share of £1.5m for “mini-Holland” feasibility studies, to assess how the areas could be as pedestrian and cycle-friendly as their Dutch city equivalents.

The government has also confirmed it will inject £35m 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 44 off-road-sections of the network upgraded to ensure they endure for years to come.

Up to £8m 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 last week in Greater Manchester and will enable 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 the planet.

This latest £200m funding is part of the £2bn for cycling and walking announced by the Prime Minister in 2020. Earlier tranches of the money have already delivered hundreds of schemes and cycling rose by almost 50% in 2020 to 2021. Active Travel England has been established to hold the budget and ensure that schemes are delivered to the new, higher standards set out in 2020.

Active Travel commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “This is all about enabling people to leave their cars at home and enjoy local journeys on foot or by bike. 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.”

Additionally, £2m will 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 across the country will be able to turn up at events with their bikes and receive a basic service or learn to repair their own bikes at a workshop. They will also be able to learn to ride a bike from beginner level or join a ride to increase their confidence.

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.

The government is also continuing to ensure cycling is available to all by funding Wheels for Wellbeing. An additional £75,000 will go towards supporting DfT’s Active Travel team to implement gear change, so its benefits reach disabled people. Wheels for Wellbeing will also coordinate an expert panel on inclusive cycling and develop a photobank of inclusive cycling imagery.

Share this story: