Norman Baker announces £225 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund boost for a dozen major projects in England

Reading's award of £20.7 million includes rollout of bike share scheme; more than £40 million awarded to smaller schemes

by Simon_MacMichael   June 27, 2012  

Norman Baker on Blackfriars Bridge courtesy Carlton Reid.jpg

Minister for Transport Norman Baker has today announced details of 12 major projects throughout England that will together share in £225 million of money made available under the Department for Transport's Local Sustainable Transport Fund, including £20.7 million for Reading Borough Council, part of which will be used to roll out a major cycle hire scheme - planed on being the biggest in he UK outside London - in the Berkshire town.

A number of smaller projects have also received up to £5 million each to bring the total investment announced today up to £266 million, while a separate £5 million scheme in Tyne & Wear has been approved pending receipt of a successful application.

Announcing the successful bidders, Mr Baker revealed that he had secured an additional £40 million funding on top of the original £560 million envisaged when the LSTF was first announced as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2010.

Match funding from local authorities and other parties will take total investment in the schemes announced to date, which are typically focused on reducing carbon emissions, promoting sustainable travel options and helping to promote economic growth, to in excess of £1 billion.

“The schemes we are funding will improve life for millions of people in towns and cities up and down the country and show that cutting carbon and boosting economic growth go hand-in-hand,” commented Mr Baker.

“Investing in these schemes shows that we are serious about funding infrastructure where there is a clear business case for doing so. The money we are putting into these projects will unlock much greater economic benefits for communities as well as improving the environment – it’s a win-win,” he added.

Martin Gibbs, director of policy and legal affairs at British Cycling, said that the governing body "welcomes the Department for Transport’s latest allocation of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, especially as many of the schemes funded incorporate cycling and cycle safety. The millions of pounds going to cities like Manchester, Stoke on Trent and Bristol will be a great boost to cycling and other sustainable travel in these areas."

He went on: “We congratulate Norman Baker’s on efforts to bring cycling into the heart of transport and will continue to support the Department in its efforts through the Cycle Stakeholder Forum."

Today's announcement came the day after Mr Baker had revealed that the DfT was making £15 million available to local authorities in England to make junctions safer for cyclists, and Mr Gibbs added: "British Cycling is calling on the Department for Transport to issue a policy statement that from now on all policy decisions on roads and junctions are made with cycling as a consideration. If we make this fundamental policy change we’ll make real progress to building an environment which encourages people to cycle.”

According to the DfT, details of some of the major schemes that have been awarded funding today include:

  • Reading will see a real boost for bikes, including a London-style cycle hire scheme and a new state-of-the-art pedestrian and cycle bridge crossing the Thames. There will also be new park-and-ride schemes and improvements to existing schemes to help commuters access key employment hubs.
  • Merseyside will see a project providing better public transport and cycle infrastructure, linking areas of deprivation with areas of employment. The scheme will include real-time travel information and extra services for bus users as well as station improvements on the local rail network.
  • Nottingham will see its smartcard scheme expanded to cover all of the city’s buses, trams and trains with more outlets offering top up services for the cards. The funding will also cover cycle storage and hire schemes, as well as a network of local travel hubs set up to address the specific travel needs of different communities.

In a written statement to Parliament, Mr Baker revealed that three projects had been refused funding, although the reasons were not given. The local authorities and projects that were declined funding are Norfolk County Council (Connecting Norfolk to Growth), West Berkshire Council (Connecting West Berkshire – keeping our economy and people moving), and Somerset County Council (Two Moors Sustainable Visitor Travel Project).

The full list of the large projects awarded funding today, including the name of the local authority, the project name, and the amount of funding made available by the DfT under the Local Sustainable Travel Fund for the period 2012-15 is shown below.

North West    

Merseyside ITA *
Supporting Sustainable Access to Opportunity in Merseyside
£19.990 million

Transport for Greater Manchester *
Let's Get to Work
£32.460 million
    
Yorkshire and The Humber  

South Yorkshire ITA
A Sustainable Journey to Work
£24.598 million
    
East Midlands  

Nottingham City Council *
Nottingham Urban Area LSTF Main Bid
£10.320 million
    
West Midlands   

Centro *
Smart Network, Smarter Choices
£33.218 million

Telford and Wrekin Council *
Telford Future – Local Action for Sustainable Growth
£6.100 million
    
East of England   

Hertfordshire County Council *
BIG HERTS BIG IDEAS
£9.679 million
    
South East   

Reading Borough Council *
Targeting Travel Choice Transitions
£20.692 million

Surrey County Council *
Surrey Travel SMART
£14.304 million

Transport for South Hampshire
A Better Connected South Hampshire: Supporting Growth, Reducing Carbon, Improving Health
£17.839 million
    
South West   

Bournemouth Borough Council (South East Dorset) *
South East Dorset Sustainable Travel Package – “The 3 Towns Corridor”
£12.122 million

Bristol City Council *
West of England Sustainable Transport (WEST)
£24.035 million

* Partial funding approved

A number of other projects have received funding of up to £5 million, including one from Tyne and Wear ITA, originally submitted as a large project, with the award pending based on submission of a successful revised small project application, according to the DfT.

Other small projects that had their LSTF funding confirmed today are:

Bedford Borough Council £4.8 million

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council £1.5 million

East Sussex County Council – Coastal Towns £2.2 million

East Sussex County Council – Lewes £1.6 million

Hampshire County Council £3.8 million

Middlesbrough Council £1.2 million

North Yorkshire County Council – Harrogate £1.7 million

North Yorkshire County Council – Whitby £3.7 million

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead £2 million

Rutland County Council £4 million

St Helens Council (lead authority) £3.1 million

Stoke-on-Trent City Council/Staffordshire County Council £5 million

West Sussex County Council £2.3 million

Wiltshire Council £4.25 million