Four schemes to improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians will go forward to the next stage following North Yorkshire County Council’s acceptance of more than £1m in funding from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Active Travel Fund.
The authority bid for the funding in summer, after assessing 300 schemes across the county, including some received from the public, interest groups and county councillors.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “The grant awarded to us by the DfT comes with strict conditions. The schemes need to be delivered quickly, should reallocate road space from vehicles in favour of cyclists and pedestrians, and offer alternatives to existing, well-used bus routes.
“All 300 schemes put forward by organisations and members of the public were assessed within the limitations of timescale and cost. Many exceeded by large margins the amount of funding available.
“Following these assessments, those schemes which were most suitable were included in our bid. Whilst this meant that a number of very worthwhile proposals had to be omitted this time, we are confident that there will be many more funding opportunities for them in future.”
The County Council’s Executive Members for Business and Environmental Services agreed this week to accept the £1,011,750 funding. The schemes under consideration are:
- Oatlands Drive, Harrogate: segregated cycle lanes along an existing cycle route, improved crossing facilities at four locations and other improvements;
- A59, Maple Close, Harrogate to Knaresborough: segregated cycle lanes along an existing cycle route and improved crossing facilities at either end;
- Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, Princes Square to Station Parade: pedestrian crossing improvements, segregated cycling infrastructure and bike storage facilities;
- Guisborough Road, Whitby, park and ride site to Prospect Hill: segregated walkways and cycle lanes along the existing park and ride route.
The next step will be to undertake consultation on all four of these schemes with local residents and other stakeholders early in 2021. Afterwards, a decision will be made on which of these schemes can be taken forward within the available budget and timescales.
A programme of consultation is a condition of the DfT funding and must be undertaken before any scheme can be built. This consultation will take place over the coming months and the consultation plan can be viewed here.
The Active Travel Fund is part of a £2bn five-year sustainable travel package from the Government.