Devon County Council has been awarded almost £1.3 million in the latest round of Emergency Active Travel Funding.
The Department for Transport has confirmed that Devon will receive £1,283,450 from the second tranche of the scheme to create safe space for walking and cycling.
Devon introduced a series of “pop-up” measures across the county earlier this year, including in Exeter, Barnstaple, Bideford and Newton Abbot, with initial funding of £338,000 from the Emergency Active Travel Fund.
Last month, the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) supported proposals for a number of the temporary measures to be made permanent, while public consultation is to be carried out on some of the other arrangements in the city. Other measures will also be progressed in Newton Abbot and Barnstaple.
Three Devon schools (Redhills Primary School in Exeter, Bradley Barton Primary in Newton Abbot and the Whipton Barton Federation in Exeter) have also introduced “School Streets” measures to restrict traffic outside their schools during drop off and pick up times.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Clearly we welcome this additional funding, although we will need to look closely at the small print. The Exeter HATOC has already set out that we’ll be carrying out consultation with local communities, which is something the Government wants to see in awarding this second round of funding.
“We’re keen to encourage active travel in order to help tackle congestion, cut carbon emissions, and improve health. We will be working with local communities across Devon to ensure this funding is used to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.”
A study commissioned by the Government has revealed that 65% of people across England support reallocating road space to cycling and walking in their local area. Nearly eight out of 10 people (78%) also support measures to reduce road traffic in their neighbourhood.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It has been great to see so many people build cycling and walking into their daily travel habits. To support them, we know it’s vital to have the right infrastructure in place so everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – can use our roads. Whether you’re walking, cycling, driving or using public transport, people must have the space they need to get around safely.”
As part of the DfT’s plan to ensure councils develop schemes that work for their communities, it has set out that they must:
– publish plans to show how they will consult their communities, including residents, businesses and emergency services, among others;
– show evidence of appropriate consultation prior to schemes being implemented;
– submit monitoring reports on the implementation of schemes 6-12 months after their opening, highlighting how schemes have been modified based on local feedback to ensure they work for communities.
The funding will have to be spent or committed by March 2021.