- Essex County Council to receive an extra £7,358,700 to boost cycling and walking infrastructure
- The Active Travel Fund is designed to create safe space for cycling and walking
- Part of the Government’s £2 billion investment into cycling and walking
Witham Northern’s Conservative candidate, Ross Playle, has welcomed news that Essex is set to receive an additional £7,358,700 from the Government’s Active Travel Fund – designed to create safe space for cycling and walking. The money will be provided to the local council and could be used to fund measures such as School Streets, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and segregated cycle lanes. In total, £175 million is being allocated to local authorities across England in the latest round of allocations from the fund.
The Government has stipulated that councils receiving money will have to meet tough new conditions to ensure that schemes are properly thought out and that their impact on other road users are closely weighed up. Councils will also have longer to spend the money, ensuring there is time to consult local communities. If these conditions are not met, future funding allocations will be reduced and the Government could clawback some of the money already provided.
The Conservative Government has pledged a revolution in walking and cycling as part of its plans to level up the whole county, with the Prime Minister pledging a record £2 billion investment to double cycling and increase walking by 2025.
Commenting, Ross Playle said:
“As many of us have tried to avoid public transport in recent months, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people opting to walk or get on their bike when moving around. Coupled to this, more people have taken up waking and cycling for lesuire too - after a day working from home I enjoy going for a cycle ride to stretching my legs, particularly when roads were quieter.
“I’m delighted that Essex will benefit from this additional funding to make our local area more bike and pedestrian-friendly, while maintaining the access and space other road users still need. This Conservative Government was elected on a promise to level up the whole country – and investment such as this into our local infrastructure shows we are delivering exactly that.”
Also commenting, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“It has been great to see so many people build cycling and walking into their daily travel habits. To support them, we know it’s vital to have the right infrastructure in place so everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – can use our roads.
“This funding will help further realise that ambition, but councils must engage with communities to develop schemes that work for everyone – those that haven’t won’t be able to take their plans forward.”