Neither Derby nor Derbyshire secure any Active Travel Funding from the DfT
The Department for Transport (DfT) asked local authorities to bid for monies put aside for Active Travel. Bids were invited that showed ambitious plans to improve cycling and walking. After assessing the proposals submitted the DfT have now announced the allocation of the £161m available in tranche 3 of the funding.
Neither Derby City Council nor Derbyshire County Council were successful in obtaining any of this round of funding.
Other Councils that have been successful include Nottingham (£2.2m), Nottinghamshire (£4.7m), Leicester (£2.2m) and Gloucestershire (£14.2m). This shows that reasonably significant monies are available for sufficiently bold schemes.
As the stakeholder engagement process for the City Council (the Active Travel Forum) has been shelved, it is not known what schemes were proposed for funding. Whatever they were, the DfT have judged them as insufficiently good to receive funding.
For the county, the majority of the funding requested was for creating the Little Eaton Branch Line – to convert the old bed of the railway between Little Eaton towards Ilkeston (I believe initially as far as Rawson Green near Denby). Unfortunately this was also judged to be unsuitable for funding.
The DfT have been clear that they expect to see schemes that “reallocate road space to cycling and walking” and have also implied that a failure to submit acceptable schemes is likely to lead to reduced future funding for the Councils for both active travel and for the wider transport budget.
Cycling UK have analysed and commented on the funding announcement.
Hopefully this will be a wake up call for senior leaders in the local Councils to push for the creation of significant plans to support cycling and walking and achieve what the Government calls a Gear Change.