alking and biking routes in England can be boosted with a £200 million fund to make crossings and junctions safer, the Division for Transport (DfT) has introduced.
Schemes may additionally embrace extra paths in rural areas, new routes for youngsters to stroll to high school and extra inclusive avenue designs to assist individuals utilizing wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Authorities company Energetic Journey England is inviting native authorities exterior London to use for a share of the funding.
The DfT famous an Workplace for Nationwide Statistics examine from 2021 which confirmed half of girls really feel unsafe strolling after darkish in a quiet avenue close to their residence, so councils might want to reveal that their proposed tasks “take ladies’s security into consideration”.
The profitable bids can be introduced later this yr.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper mentioned: “This £200 million funding for tons of of upgraded routes and paths throughout the nation will assist to cut back emissions, enhance native economies and create jobs.
“These new schemes will make it safer for youngsters to stroll to high school and can higher join rural communities, serving to extra individuals select lively journey as an reasonably priced and wholesome option to get round.”
Earlier funding rounds noticed a brand new cycle lane in-built Coventry final yr which generated 10,000 journeys in its first month and a brand new strolling and biking route in Manchester the place individuals travelling on foot and by bike are separated from motor autos.
DfT figures present 46% of youngsters aged 5 to 16 walked or cycled to high school in England in 2021.
The Authorities’s goal is for 55% of all main college youngsters to stroll to high school by 2025.
Energetic Journey Commissioner Chris Boardman mentioned: “Energetic journey is handy, low cost, low carbon and health-giving.
“It’s a selection we want to verify everybody has.
“Generally it solely takes comparatively small adjustments, corresponding to crossings on college routes or handy locations to park a motorcycle, to offer us the choice to stroll, wheel or experience.
“Our job is to assist native authorities throughout the nation be certain that everybody has extra engaging choices for his or her each day journeys and we’re excited to assist them ship these choices.”
Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns of charity Biking UK, mentioned: “Native authorities with formidable schemes to enhance biking and strolling routes can be relieved they’ll now apply for funding.
“But when the Authorities needs to succeed in its personal targets to extend ranges of strolling and biking, it has to maneuver from one-year aggressive funding rounds to long-term and safe funding streams, giving councils the boldness and skill to plan and ship linked networks of lively journey routes.”
Native Authorities Affiliation transport spokesman David Renard mentioned: “It’s useful that the Authorities recognises capability constraints that councils face, and this funding will assist them with efforts to get extra individuals out of their vehicles and utilizing greener types of transport.
“Nevertheless, funding should be delivered to the place it’s wanted essentially the most, not primarily based on expensive aggressive bids between areas.”