Funding for sustainable travel in Devon
Posted on: 25 May 2016
Devon County Council has received £500,000 from the Government to deliver a range of sustainable transport projects.
Devon has successfully bid to the Sustainable Travel Transition Year fund to build on its successful programme to boost economic growth and encourage more people to travel sustainably on everyday journeys.
The Department for Transport is providing £500,000 funding this financial year towards Devon County Council’s ‘Boosting Growth Through Sustainable Travel’ scheme, which will also benefit from £72,000 of County Council funding.
The project will focus on key areas of growth in Exeter, Teignbridge and North Devon to change behaviour and promote more active journeys, with the long term aim of increasing the number of walking and cycling journeys to work and education.
Working closely with a range of local partners, the scheme will target workplaces and schools to deliver personalised travel planning, raise awareness of opportunities for walking and cycling and offer free cycle confidence sessions.
In addition, this year will see the launch of a new electric bike hire scheme in Exeter and a countywide real time bus information smartphone app, as well as the return of the popular Devon Cycle Challenge which last June attracted more than 1,500 participants.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “We welcome this funding to build on our excellent track record of delivering sustainable travel programmes. The focus of this programme in Devon is on increasing the number of people walking and cycling to work and school, and hopefully it will inspire local residents to think differently about how they travel and encourage them to make more informed choices. This can contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of communities targeted by this project.”
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The long term vision of this programme is for people to travel more sustainably, giving people choice on mode of transport, which can help to boost economic growth while. Our growing network of walking and cycling routes are making sustainable travel a more realistic option, and if our transport links work effectively it supports local business.”
The Department for Transport is providing £20.6 million to 23 schemes nationally as part of the Sustainable Travel Transition Year fund. The fund will bridge the gap between the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), from which Devon has received £7.2 million since 2011 to implement sustainable travel projects, and the Access Fund which will fund sustainable travel schemes through to 2020.
Since the beginning of the LSTF in 2011, Devon County Council has engaged with over 10,000 residents, delivered more than 900 cycle confidence sessions and issued 65 sustainable travel grants to businesses.
Devon County Council’s Boosting Growth Through Sustainable Travel bid is available to view online.
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