Stuart has welcomed news that West Yorkshire Combined Authority is set to receive an additional £10 million from the Government’s Active Travel Fund – designed to create safe space for cycling and walking.
The money will be provided to the local council and could be used to fund measures such as School Streets, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and segregated cycle lanes. In total, £175 million is being allocated to local authorities across England in the latest round of allocations from the fund.
Following discussions with local MPs, the Government has stipulated that councils receiving money will have to meet tough new conditions to ensure that schemes are properly thought out and that their impact on other road users are closely weighed up. Councils will also have longer to spend the money, ensuring there is time to consult local communities. If these conditions are not met, future funding allocations will be reduced, and the Government could clawback some of the money already provided.
“Many of us have rightly tried to avoid public transport in recent months, and therefore we have seen a fantastic increase in the number of people opting to walk or get on their bike when moving around. I am delighted that West Yorkshire will benefit from this additional funding to make our local area more bike and pedestrian-friendly, while maintaining the access and space other road users still need.
I am especially pleased that local authorities must engage with communities to develop these schemes so that they work for everyone, and it is right that those who decline to do so will not be able to take these plans forward. We need to learn the lessons of previous schemes that failed to get public support or were not created in the right places. I would encourage all of my constituents to engage in any upcoming consultations put forward by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and very much look forward to learning more about the plans to use this funding."