New executive agency Active Travel England will oversee the delivery by local authorities of 134 schemes, backed by £161m, including new footways, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings across 46 local authorities outside London.
In addition, 19 authorities will 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’ £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 charity Sustrans. The cash will see 44 off-road-sections of the network upgraded.
Up to £8m will go 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. v
Transport minister Trudy Harrison said the cash will ‘ensure people right across the country can access cheap, healthy and zero-emission travel’.
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.’
Sustrans CEO Xavier Brice said: ‘As custodians of the National Cycle Network, we’re delighted that the government is continuing to invest in these vital and much-loved walking, wheeling and cycling routes.
‘The network is a national asset that is loved locally and continued investment will advance our work with partners and stakeholders across the UK.’