£2m bid submitted to improve cycling and walking facilities in Shropshire
Shropshire Council has bid for almost £2million of Government funding to help improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in the county.
An application for £1.929m has been submitted to the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, that aims to help councils create an environment that is safer for both walking and cycling.
Shropshire Council has been provided with an indicative allocation of £414,000, but there is a competitive bidding process, and bids can be for more or less than the allocated amount.
Four projects are included in the Shropshire bid:
- Refresh all current cycle lanes. All current 1,800 miles of existing cycle lanes will receive additional cleaning, repainting, signs and, where required, improved surfaces.
- Additional and improved cycle parking in all key towns – to be agreed with local councils and cycling groups.
- Bicton to Shrewsbury Town Centre corridor. A three-metre-wide shared cycle and pedestrian footpath, to link the park and ride site, hospital and the two new schools with the town centre. The bid also requests funding to redesign and refurbish Porthill Bridge to make it DDA-compliant and provide a continuation of the cycle routes.
- Pedestrian/cycle bridge at Mile End, Oswestry.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“Improved infrastructure for cycling and walking is a key government priority and this funding aims to help councils to create an environment that is safer for both walking and cycling. The time allowed to submit a funding bid was very tight – just 19 days – but we’ve submitted a strong and ambitious application, that far exceeds our allotted allocation and shows our determination to provide new and improved cycling and walking facilities in the county. We’ll now wait – with fingers firmly crossed – for an announcement.
“In addition to the projects in the bid, we’ve also identified a number of other potential schemes and will submit further funding bids for these as and when extra funding becomes available.”
An announcement about the funding bid is expected in mid-September.
The Government’s aim is for cycling and walking to replace journeys previously made by public transport and help avoid overcrowding on public transport systems. Longer term, it is hoped to deliver significant health, environmental and congestion benefits. The intent of the scheme is modal shift in transport (cars, public transport to cycling or walking, rather than recreational cycling in our more scenic areas of the county. This is a key distinction).