The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced details of nine schemes across England that will share nearly £2 million in cash from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). More than three quarters of it will be spent on projects in two local authority areas – Tyne & Wear, and West Yorkshire.
In Tyne & Wear, more than £600,000 goes towards a scheme to encourage families to switch to two wheels to take children to school, while in West Yorkshire, a similar amount will be spent on an ongoing initiative to help jobseekers access employment opportunities, including by bike and by public transport.
The successful bids are the first to be announced for 2015/16, but as we reported last December, the funding for that period is much less than that seen in previous years, with the total amount available £78.5 million, around half the £600 million aggregate amount from 2011-15.
For 2015/16, the maximum sum of any individual bid has also been slashed, standing at £1 million plus match funding at local level, while some previous schemes have received £20 million or more.
The LSTF was created in 2010 after the Coalition Government was formed and followed the abolition of Cycling England, which among other activities had co-ordinated funding for cycling demonstration towns and cities including Bristol, Cambridge, Darlington and York.
Here are details of the latest schemes that will receive funding, together with a description provided by the DfT. In addition to the sums stated, the projects will also receive local match funding totalling £1.6 million.
• Tyne and Wear: £609,000 for a scheme encouraging families to use push bikes for the school run and £295,000 to make cycling, walking and using public transport more appealing and simpler on the A1 Western Bypass corridor - this project aims to help more people looking for work to access prospective employment
• West Yorkshire: £590,000 towards a project that will help jobseekers access work
• Worcestershire: £110,000 to build on a previous successful scheme, making it easier to get about on foot and by bike in Redditch
• York city: £100,000 to continue a successful programme of helping households access more sustainable transport
• Warwickshire: £92,000 for a scheme to encourage more residents and tourists in Stratford-upon-Avon to make use of bikes and the town’s cycle facilities
• Staffordshire: £85,000 towards a scheme helping people access jobs, training and services
• Southend-on-Sea: £80,000 to encourage people to walk, cycle and use more public transport
• Luton: £75,000 to improve facilities for those walking, cycling and using public transport.
Announcing the funding on Thursday, transport minister Baroness Kramer said: “These successful schemes have changed how people travel, with communities now making healthier and greener choices.
“Dozens of great projects have been delivered already under this fund and I’m glad we’ve been able to support more today.”
The cash going to West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which came into being at the start of this month, extends the existing JobCentre Plus and go:cycling schemes in the area.
Already, 3,000 people have received free bus tickets to attend interviews, while 6,000 have benefited from being given a MetroCard in their first month in a job, reports the Telegraph & Argus.
Councillor Peter Box, chairman of WYCA, said: “While the new Combined Authority is primarily about the public and private sectors helping the economy to grow and creating jobs, it is also about making sure we develop the transport network that links people with those jobs. Connecting people with job opportunities is vital.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.