Dominic Browne 04 June 2020

Councils on deadline to secure first tranche of active travel cash

Local authorities are on their last chance to secure a slice of the first tranche from the £225m emergency active travel fund, with the deadline for completing the form tomorrow.

Indicative funding allocations have been announced by the department. Full listings can be found here. The total £250m fund also includes £25m will help support cycle repair schemes.

The amounts are only indicative and to receive any funding councils will need to show 'swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians including on strategic corridors' to help keep people off public transport.

To win the first tranche cash a light touch proforma must be completed no later than Friday 5 June.

The indicative formula for the allocations is based on census data from all residents aged 16 and over in employment who use public transport as their usual method of travel to work.

Funding is weighted to areas which before the crisis had high levels of public transport use, especially for short and local journeys which can now be cycled.

DfT officials also warned that no costly materials will be paid for, only temporary interventions like using planters, and the department will attempt to 'claw back' cash if projects are not started within four weeks of receiving allocations and completed within eight weeks.

Failure to deliver the schemes will also have an impact on councils' bids for the second tranche.

Rupert Furness, deputy director for active and accessible travel, wrote to authorities last week said: 'The first tranche of £45m will be releases as soon as possible so that work can begin at pace on closing roads to through traffic, installing segregated cycle lanes and widening pavements.

The quickest and cheapest way of achieving this will normally be point closures. These can be of certain main roads (with the exception of buses access and disbaled people, and with other main roads kept free for through traffic) or of parrallel side streets, if insufficently direct to provide alternatives to the main road. Point closures can also be used to crate low traffic filtered neighbourhoods.'

He advises that pop-up segregated cycle lanes can be used but are more difficult to implement.

Authorities listed as receiving zero funding come under a combined authority. It is expected that combined authorities will submit plans on behalf of their constituent authorities,' the DFT said.

This article first appeared on Transport Network

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