LSTF North West round-up: How government money for cycling is being spent in Salford, Tameside and the Wirral

First in series of regional round-ups on how Local Sustainable Transport Fund money is being allocated

by Simon_MacMichael   November 18, 2012  

Dog in bike basket (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Councils throughout England have been revealing details of how money awarded earlier this year under the Department for Tranport's Local Sustainable Tranport Fund (LSTF) is being allocated, supplemented by council money plus finance from outside sources. In this, the first of a series of regular regional round-ups of how plans to spend that money are being advanced at local level, we look at recently announced initiatives by two boroughs in Greater Manchester and one in Merseyside.

Salford City Council is to use £1.2 million of LSTF money to create a network of cycle routes and encourage commuting by bike in the area, including improving access to and links between Salford Quays, MediaCityUK and Salford University.

The council says that 13,000 jobs have already been created during the area’s regeneration with more to follow, and that one of the cycle routes planned under the three-year project, running along the River Irwell, could result in 1,000 fewer car journeys each day.

Further details of individual schemes are contained in a press release on the Salford City Council website.

"Areas such as Pendlebury, Kersal and Broughton are within five kilometres and easy reach of the Quays but have limited or no direct bus services and low car ownership.

"Providing good quality, safe cycle routes to the Quays makes it easier for local people to reach jobs in this area and for visitors to reach leisure and shopping facilities such as Ordsall Hall, the BBC, the Imperial War Museum and Manchester United FC.

"Linking Irwell River Park to the University of Salford and down to Salford Quays with an eight kilometre cycle route will also provide easy access to and from major development sites, including Greengate, Salford Central, Middlewood Locks and Pomona, as well as the Quays themselves."

- Councillor Derek Antrobus, assistant mayor for strategic planning, Salford City Council

Still in Greater Manchester, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council has announced a three-year £1 million investment in pedestrian and cycling facilities that will be part-funded by money from the LSTF and Sustrans.

The money will be spent on three initiatives, the first of which will provide a two-mile link along the canal towpath between Ashton and Hyde town centres, also providing access to places of employment situated close to the waterway. The route will be jointly developed by Sustrans and the Canals and Rivers Trust.

The second scheme also links Ashton town centre, this time with Ashton Moss, to provide a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians between Katherine Street and Lord Sheldon Way.

The third and final project will result in better lighting and pedestrian access to Hattersley Railway Station.

“I fully support these exciting sustainable transport initiatives in the borough, which are part of a bigger package of measures across the Greater Manchester area.

They will help us all to access our local town centres and improve links to employment opportunities while at the same time reduce our reliance on our cars.”

- Councillor Peter Robinson, executive member for transport and development, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Elsewhere in the North West, Wirral Borough Council is inviting businesses based in East Wirral to apply for grants of up to £2,500 each to help promote sustainable travel among their employees.

The grants will come from the council’s £3.2 million share of £19.9 million in LSTF funding awarded by the DfT to the Merseyside Travel Partnership.

The initiative will see business travel officers from the council work alongside local employers to discuss how they can encourage higher levels of sustainable travel among employees both while travelling to and from work and while out on business during the working day.

The bulk of the money, £2 million, is planned to be spent on improving cycling and walking infrastructure within the council’s area, while it is also planned to increase the number of 20mph zones there, according to a report in the Wirral Globe last month.

"Particularly in these times of serious budget challenges, our share of this successful LSTF bid is a very welcome boost.

"It will give us the opportunity to deliver additional projects and schemes in Wirral which will help to remove transport as a barrier to employment for local people.

"It also means local people will once again have the opportunity to decide on transport schemes in their own community through the allocation of funds through Area Forums."

- Councillor Harry Smith, cabinet member for Streetscene and Transport Services, Wirral Borough Council

We'll bring you further regional round-ups of how cash for cycling and other sustainable travel initiatives is being spent elsewhere in England shortly.