Westminster City Council has announced a new £35m investment into active travel and sustainable transport through the improvement of walking, wheeling and public transport infrastructure.
The funding aligns with the council’s wider agenda around improving air quality and bringing the city closer to carbon neutrality and encouraging greater uptake of sustainable transport options.
Following the budget announcement, the council has also launched an e-cargo bike sharing service with micromobility provider Beryl – new e-cargo bikes are available to hire at four locations across Westminster.
Fitted with an electric-assist motor for extra power, the bikes were designed to for transport small to medium loads, such as work tools, shopping or sports equipment.
Along with the launch of this new e-cargo bike rental scheme, the council is investing in active travel and sustainable transport around the city by introducing new measures, including:
- five new School Streets schemes per year – where cars are restricted during drop-off and pick-up time
- 400 new cycle stand spaces per year
- 1,000 new secure residential cycle spaces by March 2024
- 15km (9.3 miles) of new or upgraded cycle lanes
Expansion of the TfL Cycle Hire network in North Paddington
- 100 new dropped kerbs to make streets more accessible for all – especially those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters and buggies
- A £2m annual program of pavement renewals
Increased investment in the redesign of dangerous junctions
- A city-wide network of parking bays for rental dockless e-bikes and rental e-scooters
- Two-way cycling on 20 more one-way streets by the end of 2025
- Bus priority and performance improvements.
Trial new ways to reduce the impact of freight, servicing and deliveries, such as Bookable E-Parcel Vehicle Bays.
Cllr Max Sullivan, deputy cabinet member for city management and air quality at Westminster City Council, said: “This £35m investment in walking, cycling and public transport will make life better for residents and visitors across Westminster by making it safer and easier to travel sustainably around our city. All delivered for the lowest council tax in the country.”
To use the Beryl bikes, riders must pay a standard £1.50 unlock fee, followed by 10p a minute charge. First launched as a six-month pilot, the scheme will be monitored and reviewed by Westminster City Council and Beryl.