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DfT announces £113 million funding for green travel initiatives throughout England

Many of the projects to benefit aim to stimulate economic growth as well as cutting carbon emissions

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced details of 30 projects that will benefit from a combined total of £113 million in funding from central government under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The projects, many of which are aimed at promoting economic growth as well as sustainable travel options such as cycling, will also benefit from funding in excess of that amount from local authorities and other partners.

Announcing the funding, Local Transport Minister Norman Baker, whose brief also includes cycling, said: “The schemes we are funding today will benefit communities from Devon to Durham by cutting carbon emissions, reducing congestion and stimulating economic growth in these areas.

“By investing in these projects we are signalling our commitment to green growth which will help to kick-start economic activity in local areas while improving access to healthier forms of transport and addressing the problem of climate change.”

Among the projects that the DfT highlighted in its announcement are:

  • Smarter Travel Slough which will reduce congestion on main roads in the rush hour by increasing the use of walking, cycling and public transport. This will improve air quality and health while supporting business efficiency.
  • Walk to School Outreach will see Durham County Council working with national charity Living Streets and eight other councils to increase the number of children walking to school in 854 primary and 182 secondary schools nationally. The project aims to reduce congestion and improve health through exercise.
  • Travel Torbay Regeneration Project will deliver a new fast ferry service between Torbay and Brixham which will see journey times cut by half, a new cycle route to encourage more low carbon journeys and a supporting package of employer based travel planning to help increase use of public transport.
  • Access to Jobs, Training and Services in Stafford will aim to reduce congestion at peak times in Stafford by improving access to walking, cycling and public transport. People will be encouraged to reconsider their travel habits through offers of discounted bus travel and a new mobile cycle centre providing cyclists with information and advice as well as selling reconditioned bikes.
  • Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism on the Isle of Wight will improve the island’s sustainable transport network to support its bid to become a leading destination for green tourism. This will include the provision of transport hubs and easily-accessible live travel information to help visitors and local people plan their journeys. Walking and cycling routes will also receive a boost.

Several projects were refused funding, although the reasons were not given. Those projects were TravelMatters (Gateshead Council), Routes to Prosperity (Halton Borouh Council), Nottinghamshire sustainable market towns (Nottinghamshire County Council), Smoothing the Path for Walking in Sandwell (Sandwell Metropolitan Borough) and Realising Business and Energy Efficient Travel in Southern England (Surrey County Council).

The full list of projects that had funding approved for 2012-15 under yesterday’s announcement, together with the amount the DfT is contributing, is shown below.

North East    

Durham County Council
Walk to School Outreach
£4.761 million
Northumberland County Council
South East Northumberland - Sustainable Transport to Work
£2.842 million

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (on behalf of Tees Valley Unlimited)
Improving Access to the Tees Valley Rail Network
£4.458 million
North West    

Cheshire East Council
Growing Smarter Travel Choices in Crewe
£3.509 million

Cheshire West and Chester Borough
Council Connect to Jobs
£4.578 million

Lancashire County Council 
Targeting Key Growth Corridors
£5.000 million

Warrington Borough Council
Warrington Sustainable Travel Triangle
£4.650 million
Yorkshire and The Humber    

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
'Get Moving Goole' - Goole Sustainable Transport Package
£0.943 million

Kingston upon Hull City Council
HULL S.T.E.E.R (Sustainable Travel to Employment, Education and for Recreation)
£1.870 million

North East Lincolnshire Council 
Travelling Towards a Vibrant Economy - 'Supporting Economic Growth in North East Lincolnshire'
£4.330 million
East Midlands    

Derby City Council
Derby: Better Ways to Work
£4.922 million

Leicestershire County Council
Smarter Travel for Business
£4.000 million

Lincolnshire County Council
Access LN6
£4.899 million
West Midlands    

Coventry City Council
Cycle Coventry
£3.496 million

Staffordshire County Council
Access to Jobs, Training and Services in Stafford
£4.239 million
East of England    
Cambridgeshire County Council 

Getting Cambridgeshire to Work; improving connectivity in key economic corridors in Cambridgeshire
£5.000 million

Central Bedfordshire Council
South Central Bedfordshire Smarter Routes to Employment
£4.954 million
South East    

Bracknell Forest Council
Town Centre regeneration with improved travel choices
£1.664 million

Isle of Wight Council
Sustainable transport access to tourism
£3.950 million

Portsmouth City Council
A Sustainable and Connected Centre – Supporting Portsmouth’s Retail, Tourism and Wider Economy
£5.000 million

Slough Borough Council *
Smarter Travel Slough (STS)
£4.305 million

Wokingham Borough Council
(1) Influencing Travel Behaviour in Wokingham
(2) Sustainable Chilterns Gateways
£2.750 million and £0.868 million
South West    

Bournemouth Borough Council 
BE SMArT – Bournemouth Economic & Sustainable Movement Around Town
£4.636 million

Cornwall Council *
Central and East Cornwall Sustainable Transport £2.299 million

Devon County Council
Access to Education
£4.999 million

Dorset County Council *
Weymouth – Dorchester Corridor
£2.409 million

Gloucestershire County Council
Cheltenham and Gloucester Sustainable Travel Programme
£4.969 million

Somerset County Council *
Moving Bridgwater Forward
£3.891 million

Torbay Council Travel
Torbay Regeneration Project
£2.750 million

* Partial funding approved

The DfT said that there are a number of projects being assessed where funding, if any, is still to be announced. Those are:

North East  

Middlesbrough Council
Sustainable Middlesbrough - A Place for Business
North West  

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

St Helens Council
Mid Mersey Sustainable Cross Boundary Links
Yorkshire and The Humber  

North Yorkshire County Council
Harrogate and Knaresborough Sustainable Transport Package
North Yorkshire County Council (with North York Moors National Park Authority)
Boosting the tourism economy in Whitby and the Esk Valley
East Midlands  
Rutland County Council
West Midlands 
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Stoking Employment
Stoke-on-Trent City Council  (with Staffordshire County Council)
North Staffordshire Sustainable Transport Package
East of England  

Bedford Borough Council
Access to Stations

Norfolk County Council
Connecting Norfolk to Growth
South East  

East Sussex County Council
East Sussex Coastal Towns – Better travel to Work & Education

East Sussex County Council (with South Downs National Park Authority) Travel Choices for Lewes

Hampshire County Council
Sustainable Transport Solutions for England’s two newest National Parks

West Berkshire Council
‘Connecting West Berkshire’ – keeping our economy and people moving

West Sussex County Council
West Sussex Sustainable Travel Towns  

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Sustainable Growth for Maidenhead
South West  

Somerset County Council 
Two Moors Sustainable Visitor Travel Project

Wiltshire Council
Improving Wiltshire’s Rail Offer


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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lushmiester | 12 years ago

In terms of words for pounds these documents are great value for money. In remains to be seen if they achieve the same value in output. My local project, Moving Bridgwater forward has a total package cost is 6.573m and the only tangible cycling outcome is 6.5 miles of cycle ways and some extra signs directing people to 'safer' routes based on more on perception than reality. The vast majority of the expenditure goes on psychosocial interventions attempting to effect behavioural change in transport choices promoting: walking, cycling, public transport, and car sharing, in the believe that these changes are more lasting.

Psychosocial intervention are most effective when pushing against an open door, in this case there has to be a adequate cycling infrastructure and sufficient motivation to utilise that infrastructure. Motivation may well come more from increasing fuel prices than providing personal travel plans to 8,000 households particularly in an area that traditionally has a low wage economy.

The document claims intangible benefits including health whilst there are health benefits to be gained from active transport such as cycling these have to be weighed against risk and perceptions of risk when promoting activity for health. Unfortunately cycling has a perception of being a high risk activity. At the end of the day cycling is only one contribution and health improvement which requires life style and social policy change more than just transport choice change.

Perhaps an under sold benefit of cycling as a transport choice is increased disposable income it's lower total cost per mile compared to other modes of travel other than walking. However, one needs an income to begin with if this benefit is to be realised and therefore cycling needs to be more closely integrated with economic development policy both in the employment and leisure activity areas if it is to maximise it contribution to webeing, local wealth and reducing green house gasses.

I hope I that I have not come across as negative as a cyclist I broadly support such initiatives. I do however, sound a note of caution regarding the actual impact they might have. Cycling has to become a totally integrated part of transport policy (particularly for short journeys) before it essential contribution to better communities and wellbeing can be realised.

tarquin_foxglove | 12 years ago

Durham County Council get £4.761m to encourage walking to school but in their new County Plan, they intend to spend £70m (up from an initial estimate of £40m) on two relief roads on the north & west of Durham City, total distance 6 miles.

Marauder replied to tarquin_foxglove | 12 years ago
tarquin_foxglove wrote:

Durham County Council get £4.761m to encourage walking to school but in their new County Plan, they intend to spend £70m (up from an initial estimate of £40m) on two relief roads on the north & west of Durham City, total distance 6 miles.

I wonder if that is linked to an advert I seen at one of their swimming baths yesterday, basically kids walk/ride to school to collect points to redeem at the swimming baths for a free session.

1 point per journey and I think it was about 20 points for a free session.

iDavid | 12 years ago

Typical DfT - quote an eyecatching number, spread it thin, tick the sustainable box and move on.

None of this will do diddly squat to remove fear of traffic which we all know is the #1 reason more people don't ride.

Tell new drivers they won't get a licence until they can show that they "think bike" and we'll start to see cyclist numbers go up and accident rates go down.

a_to_the_j | 12 years ago

spend it all on bike carriages on trains, bike carriers on front of buses, and fixing potholes.

OldRidgeback | 12 years ago

And this is what Staffordshire will do:

Staffordshire County Council has been awarded £4.239 million from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which will soon see the start of a number of exciting initiatives to improve greener transport in Stafford.

The groundbreaking scheme will aim to reduce traffic congestion in the town, making it easier for people to walk, cycle or use public transport to travel to work, training or services, reducing carbon emissions in the process.

A key element of the development will include an impressive new elevated footway and cycleway over the River Sow linking Baswich Lane to Tixall Road. This will help to connect nearly 12,000 residents to business parks, the MOD, the hospital, the university, schools and local employer Perkins, taking traffic off the roads.

More accessible passenger information and the introduction of wi-fi on local buses will also be introduced as part of the scheme. A summary list of initiatives can be found in the notes to editor.

Staffordshire County Councillor, Mike Maryon, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said:

“This is fabulous news for people in Stafford and is all about linking people with jobs and giving them more choice in how they get to and from work. With the allocation of this funding to spend on a range of exciting greener travel initiatives over the next three years, it will help us give people much more choice on how they get around and help reduce rush hour congestion in the town.

“The scheme will make it easier for commuters to walk, cycle or use public transport with a range of incentives from cheaper bus travel to more and safer cycle lanes. We want people to reconsider the way they travel and not have to rely on their car.

“We will be working closely with major local employers, the Chamber of Commerce and the bus operator to roll out these initiatives, and will also be linking up with a local cycling charity. A new mobile cycle centre will provide cyclists with information and advice as well as selling reconditioned bikes too.

“The ambition is to reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions, and if we encourage people to walk or get on the bike, improve people’s health too. It’s a real win win for Stafford residents.”

Local charity Back2Bikes are also supporting the scheme and aim to promote cycling and its benefits and encourage the donation of unwanted bikes to be recycled and made available to local residents

cat1commuter | 12 years ago

Not sure about disguising spending on particular transport modes, but I don't think you're being too cynical Tony. What I would question is why this tiny amount (compared to their overall budget) of transport spending is being scattered in a little corner of the DfT's garden and labelled "sustainable". I'm sure all these projects are nice, but they don't really do much for the country as a whole, do they? They're not going to be of much interest if you don't happen to live somewhere which is getting this special funding. What is the rest of the DfT budget being spent on? Unsustainable transport?

Tony Farrelly | 12 years ago

I can't help wondering whether the whole Local Sustainable Transport Fund idea is simply a convenient way to disguise spending less on particular types of transport by lumping all together in one big 'sustainable' pot and then trumpeting the resulting big number… and your green credentials of course. Or maybe I'm being too cynical?

don_don | 12 years ago

Lots of nice fluffy words as usual. It'll be interesting to see what my local authority do with the nearly £5 million they've been given.

Coleman replied to don_don | 12 years ago
don_don wrote:

Lots of nice fluffy words as usual. It'll be interesting to see what my local authority do with the nearly £5 million they've been given.

I estimate they would get about 50 "cyclists dismount" signs from that.

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