Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock, has welcomed the additional funding boost for local walking and cycling infrastructure.
Essex is set to receive an additional £7,358,700 from the Government’s Active Travel Fund – designed to create safe space for cycling and walking.
This funding 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.
Councils receiving the 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 a longer period of time to spend the funding, ensuring there is time to consult with the local community.
The Government has pledged a revolution in walking and cycling as part of its levelling up agenda, with the Prime Minister pledging a record £2 billion investment to double cycling and increase walking by 2025. This comes on top of more than £27 billion that will be invested in England’s roads over the next five years, ensuring the road network is safe, reliable and efficient.
Commenting, Stephen Metcalfe said: “Over recent months, we have seen a huge increase in the number of people opting to walk or get on their bike when moving around.
I am delighted that Essex will benefit from additional funding to make our local area more bike and pedestrian friendly, while maintaining the access and space other road users still need.
This Conservative Government was elected on a promise to level up the whole country – and investment such as this into our local infrastructure shows we are delivering exactly that.’’
Also commenting, 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.
This funding will help further realise that ambition, but councils must engage with communities to develop schemes that work for everyone – those that haven’t won’t be able to take their plans forward.’’