• Editor

Walking and cycling to a green future

The County Council is securing its commitment to a healthier and greener future by providing more walking and cycling projects across the county.

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “The pandemic has changed the way we travel. Evidence indicates we are travelling more locally and cycling and walking more. We are making significantly fewer work journeys.

“This is a critical time to make changes to our high streets and roads to support a prosperous, healthy and green recovery, making it easier for people to sustain healthier lifestyles, while helping to meet the County Council’s targets in our Climate Change Strategy to reduce carbon emissions.”

At his Decision Day on Thursday 14th January, Councillor Humby recommended the capital programme to the County Council’s Cabinet in February. The proposals include a three-year Integrated Transport Plan (ITP) Programme for 2021 - 2024 totalling £90million, that incorporates £39 million from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Transforming Cities Fund.

Hampshire County Council will use this money to provide a range of measures, including plans to create better spaces for people walking and cycling in the parts of Hampshire adjoining the Portsmouth and Southampton City Council areas.

The Transforming Cities Fund schemes will see Hampshire County Council deliver 22 schemes; 10 for the Portsmouth City Region consists of 10 schemes (£21 million) and a further 12 schemes in the Southampton City Region (£18 million).

In addition, Hampshire County Council has recently received confirmation that it has been successful in securing £3.28 million from the DfT’s Active Travel Fund. This will allow Hampshire County Council to provide a range of further measures to create better spaces for people walking and cycling.

Cllr Humby added: “These successful bids show what can be achieved through dedicated partnership working.

“In combination, the bids for Transforming Cities Fund have yielded in excess of £35 million on measures to support sustainable growth and travel in south Hampshire, and through partnership working have brought in well in excess of £100 million investment to the area.”

For more information about the Transforming Cities Fund schemes visit: www.hants.gov.uk/en/transport/strategies/fundingbids.

The funding from the DfT’s Active Travel Fund follows a successful bid earlier in the year for £863,000 for temporary pop-up measures to help people socially distance more easily as they returned to high streets and town centres after lockdown.

This saw over 40 new schemes across Hampshire, providing people with the space to travel by bike or by foot while keeping a safe social distance.

The County Council’s Capital Programme will be considered by members of the Authority’s Cabinet on 9th February, before a final decision on the County Council’s overall budget for 2021/22 is made by the full County Council on 25th February.

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