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Government tells councils to show more ambition with cycling plans

Unambitious councils given just a fraction of what they bid for

The Department for Transport (DfT) has written to councils informing them it wants to see “an even higher level of ambition” when it comes to proposals for emergency active travel measures. Announcing a first tranche of funding yesterday, it said authorities had been given 100%, 75%, 50% or 25% of their respective bids, “based on the extent to which they aligned with the criteria.”

With public transport capacity currently severely limited due to the coronavirus crisis, the Government fears that without large numbers switching to active travel, towns and cities’ roads will grind to a halt.

New guidance for local authorities therefore demands that more space be provided for walking and cycling.

A £225m Emergency Active Travel Fund has been set up to help councils in England outside London create pop-up bike lanes and other measures.

Writing to councils to confirm the allocations for a first tranche of funding, the DfT said: “All proposals were assessed against key criteria, with authorities receiving either 100%, 75%, 50% or 25% of their allocations based on the extent to which they aligned with the criteria.

“In some cases, authorities have been given more than their indicative allocations where their proposals were particularly strong.

“Where authorities have received less than their indicative allocations, this is due to their proposals being less aligned with the objectives of the fund than those of other authorities.”

In a pointed and unambiguous message about the standard of plans put forward, the DfT adds: “We have to convey from ministers that they would like to see proposals of an even higher level of ambition for tranche two.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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0-0 | 3 years ago
1 like

My local council are so ambitious and forward thinking, they're turning all roads into gravel tracks.
Just by letting debris collect, cycle lane paint fade and pot holes grow.

HarrogateSpa | 3 years ago

I say credit where credit is due. Whoever is running this at the DfT (Andrew Gilligan? Rupert Furness?) is doing a good job. They are imposing a timetable, and demanding quality.

[I know it's not perfect, I know it's not as much money as we'd like, I know Boris Johnson is a liar, I know the Tories' incompetence has cost tens of thousands of lives.]

eburtthebike | 3 years ago
1 like

Have they told their own MPs?

Cargobike | 3 years ago

£225m is no more than loose change down the back of the sofa.

If the government were serious about creating change, even if only over the course of the pandemic, they need to be willing to spend far, far more than that. Up here in Derby they are still pushing ahead with plans to spend £278m reconfiguring the 3 roundabouts on the A38, a road that already cuts large parts of the city in two. The few walking and cycling facilities available presently will be the first things dug up when these works begin. I wonder if they'll ever return and if they do how crap they'll be afterwards.

brooksby | 3 years ago

Remember, people: if its a success then that's down to the government; if its a failure then it's the fault of the local authority...

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