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Combined Authority on its toes if active travel funding bid succeeds


Combined Authority on its toes if active travel funding bid succeeds

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will hit the ground running if Active Travel England – ATE – invests in the walking, cycling, and wheeling proposals contained in the Combined Authority’s current bid for central government funding.

In a unanimous vote, the Combined Authority Board approved the drawdown of funds to ensure the Combined Authority can move fast to put any ATF4 grant swiftly to work through its partners, the two Highway Authorities, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.

The final Cambridgeshire & Peterborough bid submitted was for £7,873,590, being a total for Cambridgeshire of £3,187,000, and £4,686,590 for Peterborough.

Quick action is vital if the bid is successful. There is a tight 12-month ATE deadline for delivering the active travel schemes proposed.  With any central government funding  expected to be spent within the year, people walking, cycling, or wheeling can anticipate early results.

Board members noted the wide range of proposals in the Combined Authority’s bid to Active Travel Fund 4 before agreeing the drawdown in preparation for any funding from ATE.

ATE had indicated a basic allocation for each bidding authority. For the Combined Authority, the ceiling was £2,996,590.  However, Authorities were asked to show their ambition and bid for more than their basic allocation, to a maximum of 300%.  Where ATE considers proposals within bids are strong, authorities can receive an investment above the allocation first indicated.

ATF4 aims to enable Local Authorities like Cambridgeshire & Peterborough to help deliver the 2025 and 2030 objectives in the national Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy

  • 50% of short urban trips in England to be walked, wheeled, or cycled by 2030
  • Increase active travel to 46% of short urban trips by 2025
  • Increase walking to 365 stages per person per year by 2025
  • Increase cycling to 1.6 billion stages in 2025
  • 55% of primary school-aged children to walk to school by 2025

It also aims to invest in line with ‘Gear Change’, the Government’s blueprint for increasing active travel, and with wider Government objectives, including local growth and productivity, tackling public health issues, decarbonisation, levelling up and cost of living challenges, and making active travel options accessible to people of all ages and abilities.