Going Going Bike

Jul 062011
 
CycleRoundtable

The first cash awards from the UK government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund have been announced with a total of £155m being giving to 39 projects that cover 37 English local authorities.

Applications to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund have been on-going since the government announced a funding pot of £560m over a period from 2011 to 2015 earlier this year.

Whereas Cycling England had previously had a dedicated budget to award funds to cycling projects the demise of that body last year meant that local authorities would have to apply to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund for funds for cycling projects alongside other sustainable transport initiatives.

Successes

Cycling specific projects feature prominently in the first awards including a major project that we have featured on Going Going Bike in the past few months.

The Greater Manchester Commuter Cycle Project has been awarded £4.93m to help fund the development of cycle centres and other bike to work schemes in the Greater Manchester area.

Another scheme of note being awarded money is Birmingham’s Bike North project, which is getting £4.12m. Bike North will make improvements to walking and cycling facilities in the north of the Birmingham including better routes, signs, safer crossings and other measures to improve the overall walking and cycling experience for local people.

Cycling as part of a package

Some local authorities included cycling as part of an overall transport package for their regions.  South Yorkshire was successful with their plans to introduce a ‘wheels to work’ scheme to help those in the most isolated areas get to work by bike, scooter or electric scooter, as well as build new cycle infrastructure for the region.

Another example of this approach was Lowestoft, where the funds will provide a new swing bridge for pedestrians and cyclists that will enable residents and visitors to travel more easily within the town.

Failed projects

Some cycle projects were refused funding when the independent expert panel making the decisions on the awards looked at the bids. This included the Milton Keynes Walking and Cycling Network Improvements scheme. The scheme included a Cycle Hub concept at Milton Keynes Central rail station.

Another scheme of note that failed to gain funds was Bike Club Plus. Bike Club Plus aimed to continue to develop participation in cycling in former Cycling England Cycling Towns. Leicester City Council was the lead partner in this bid with the Cyclists Touring Club and 14 other local authorities participating.

In total, the Department of Transport received 73 bids from 66 local authorities for small projects in the first tranche of bidding. A deadline also passed last month for expressions of interest for large projects (involving awards of between £5m and £50m) and for Tranche 2 small projects. A decision on successful Tranche 2 and large project bids will be made in the summer of 2012.

See also

English and French unite to boost cycle tourism

Commuters take to National Cycle Network

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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