Northamptonshire allocated £1.7m from Government to get more people cycling or walking

Councils must submit 'satisfactory plans' to the DfT before getting any funding, released in two tranches

By Jack Duggan
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 5:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 9:38 am

Northamptonshire has the chance to receive just over £1.75 million in Government funding to get more people walking or cycling.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed how much each local authority can expect to get from its £225 million 'emergency active travel fund'.

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for highways and place, Jason Smithers, said: “A number of suggestions for cycle and walking schemes have been made by council officers and input has also been shared from major employers, local interest groups and other stakeholders in the area.

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Northamptonshire could receive just over 1.75 million in Government funding to get more people cycling

“We are now identifying which schemes can be progressed using the allocated funding.”

The money will be released in two tranches - in Northants, the first tranch of £351,000 would be for temporary projects during the coronavirus pandemic and the rest is for the creation of longer term projects.

But authorities must submit 'satisfactory plans' to the DfT before getting any funding.

Cycling minister and Daventry MP, Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “We’re living in a time where many people are cycling and walking more than they did before.

"We must build on this opportunity to bring about longer-term change – where active travel is viewed as the default for shorter journeys, long after this crisis has finished.”

The money could be used to create pop up and permanent cycle lanes and reallocate road space to make it easier for people to choose greener alternatives to public transport, according to the Government.

The DfT adds it is amending laws to reduce red tape and halve the time it takes for councils to get these schemes up and running.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "To make sure people can travel safely when they need to, we are increasing capacity on buses and light rail, as well as helping local authorities fast-track plans to support cyclists and pedestrians, further reducing pressure on our transport network.

"These measures will help keep passengers safe now, but we must also prepare for what comes next.

"Strengthening vital road and railway connections, as well as encouraging cycling and walking, will be essential to our ambition to level up the country, secure a green legacy, and kickstart regional economies, as we build out of Covid-19 and look to the future.”