£15m boost for sustainable travel
Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Norman Baker today announced £15m of new funding for sustainable travel projects across the country that will promote economic growth and cut carbon.
The investment is in addition to the £560m Local Sustainable Transport Fund announced in January 2011. This additional funding, heavily geared towards cycling, will support jobs, enhance access to employment and encourage greater use of more environmentally friendly transport.
Sustrans - the UK transport charity - will receive £8m for projects to enhance cycle routes across England. The remaining £7m will be allocated through the Cycle Rail Working Group - the body which brings together representatives of the rail industry and the cycling sector - to improve integration between cycle and rail at stations. Measures will include safer and more convenient cycle racks, additional cycle parking and storage, and better access for cyclists. This will complement the £7m that Network Rail is already spending in this area.
Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said:
"This fund underlines the firm commitment of the Coalition Government to sustainable transport".
"If we are serious about reducing carbon, then we need to get more people walking and cycling. But we must do it in a way that boosts the economy".
"I want this fund to support projects that create growth and tackle climate change by cutting our carbon emissions".
"I look forward to seeing the projects put forward by Sustrans and the Cycle Rail Working Group and working with them to deliver transport that is greener, healthier and improves quality of life in our communities."
Both organisations will now work up the specific projects they intend to fund. The successful projects will be announced in March.
Commenting further, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, Julian Huppert said:
"Promoting cycling and green transport is the right thing to do and I am delighted Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are taking action.
"This comes at a crucial time. Just five days ago The Times launched a cycle campaign in response to the shocking increase in fatalities among cyclists on our roads.
"It is absolutely essential people should be able to walk to work or cycle to school in a safe environment. The extra £8m for Sustrans will go a long way to achieving this.
"And the £7m for improved rail-cycle links will ensure that we continue to build a transport network which puts passengers first."