£64m of new government funding will help 25 local authorities across England to encourage thousands more people to cycle and walk to work, according to transport minister Andrew Jones.
Announced yesterday (26 Jan), the £64m will support local projects until 2020 and forms part of a wider government package of more than £300m to boost walking and cycling during the current parliament.
Among other things, the Sustainable Travel Access Fund for 2017 to 2020 will help fund more safety and awareness training for cyclists, bike repair and maintenance courses, road safety measures and mapping information for pedestrians.
The funding will also help people looking to get back into work who are struggling with access to transport and the cost of travel, through discounted bus travel and bike loans.
By 2040 the government aims to make walking and cycling part of everyday life, and the natural choice for shorter journeys. It hopes that this latest funding will result in 95m fewer miles in car journeys, 99,000 extra walking journeys and 40,000 extra cycling trips per day.
Andrew Jones said: “We are committed to improving how people travel and this investment will ensure that people’s journeys are cheaper, safer and better for the environment. It will help people to become more active and better transport planning will reduce congestion on our roads – particularly at peak times.
“This investment will also help people access jobs, education and training – specifically targeting those looking to get back into work, as part of our relentless drive to make this is a country that works for everyone.”
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, added: “The evidence suggests that these kinds of projects can remove barriers to work, help local communities and businesses and also tackle local transport problems by giving people attractive alternatives to car use.”