£200m for walking, wheeling and cycling

Ministers have announced £200m for new active travel schemes across England.

New executive agency Active Travel England will oversee the delivery by local authorities schemes of 134 schemes, backed by £161m, including new footways, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings across 46 local authorities outside London.

In addition, 19 authorities will receive a share of £1.5 million for ‘mini-Holland’ feasibility studies.

Up to £8m will go towards a new programme to accelerate the uptake of e-cycles by offering short and long-term loans of e-cycles. The pilot scheme, which will be delivered by Cycling UK, launched last week in Greater Manchester.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison said the cash will ‘ensure people right across the country can access cheap, healthy and zero-emission travel’.

Chris Boardman

Active travel commissioner Chris Boardman said: ‘This is all about enabling people to leave their cars at home and enjoy local journeys on foot or by bike.

‘Active Travel England is going to make sure high-quality spaces for cycling, wheeling and walking are delivered across all parts of England, creating better streets, a happier school run and healthier, more pleasant journeys to work and the shops.’

The Government has also ‘confirmed’ £35m to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of the National Cycle Network, a UK-wide network of paths and routes for walking, cycling or wheeling managed by charity Sustrans. The cash will see 44 off-road-sections of the network upgraded.

Sustrans CEO Xavier Brice said: ‘As custodians of the National Cycle Network, we’re delighted that the government is continuing to invest in these vital and much-loved walking, wheeling and cycling routes.

‘The network is a national asset that is loved locally and continued investment will advance our work with partners and stakeholders across the UK.’

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