Combined Authority wins Government funding for cycling and walking plans
In a great kickstart to the new year, a bid for active travel funding from Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority has been successful, the Government announced today.
Funding of £822,920 for technical expertise to help and inspire more people get walking or cycling short distances has been awarded to the Combined Authority and its delivery partners Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.
The bid included funding for an active travel advocate for the Combined Authority area, a role that would work with the proposed active travel centre-of-excellence at Cambridgeshire County Council to push forward active travel and create a new Active Travel website for residents.
The support means delivery partners Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council can develop active travel projects from the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans and produce a plan of one, three, and ten year projects to nudge people into being more active.
The bid was piloted by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority’s Head of Transport, Tim Bellamy. Mr Bellamy said:
“This is fantastic news and I’m absolutely delighted that the Combined Authority, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City council will be working together to revolutionise the way transport works for the people of our county, to alter reliance on the private car, and to create a joined-up infrastructure for greener, cleaner and healthier travel.”
Changing travel behaviour is key – two out of every three personal trips are within five miles, an achievable distance to cycle for most people. For school children, the opportunities are even greater as more than 90% live within a 15-minute walking catchment from a primary school.
By encouraging active travel and supporting initiatives that create behaviour change, health and wellbeing of communities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be improved and the area’s net zero carbon ambition made more achievable. Schools, workplaces and the wider community will benefit from programmes to encourage active travel and proposed cycling and bike maintenance training.
Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council Highways and Transport Committee, Cllr Alex Beckett said:
“I’m really pleased we’ve managed to secure £509,920 from the Capability and Ambition Fund via the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. This money will help us to not only develop more active travel schemes across the county, but to lead and embed the principles of active travel in everything we do – from creating a core team, to training, to planning, to designing and building.
“We’re also keen to look at the behavioural side of things, we want to encourage more people to cycle, offer cycle training to families and individuals in new towns and produce a programme of active travel activities.
“By working with partners and developers we want to ensure active travel is a part of everything we do. By doing so will support not only health and wellbeing but contribute to the county’s target of net zero by 2045.”
Once the infrastructure plans are developed – by the end of 2023 – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be placed in a strong position to bid for future Government capital funding to deliver these projects.
Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for Peterborough City Council, said: “This funding will give us the data to help get more of our residents walking and cycling on a regular basis for short journeys. In turn this will help our city get fitter and improve wellbeing, while at the same time, reducing carbon emissions.”
The work that would be carried out will support Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s Active Travel strategies, its Joint Health and Wellbeing Integrated Care Strategy, and contribute to achieving carbon zero pledges.
The new Combined Authority funding for Cambridgeshire County Council will enable
- Prioritisation of Tier One LCWIP schemes
- Feasibility design work of further LCWIP schemes
- Training for officers to embed LTN 1/20 best practice on cycle infrastructure schemes
- Active travel policy development for Greater Cambridge and East Cambridgeshire including LCWIP
- Cycle training offer to individuals and families at Northstowe and Alconbury Weald
- Work to encourage people to bike to school and work across Cambridgeshire
- A ‘Bike It’ officer to support the road safety team with active travel activities and deliver a ‘Bike It’ programme.