Members of the public can now submit their ideas for improvements to North Yorkshire’s walking and cycling infrastructure via an online service launched by the County Council this week.
The move comes as the County Council presses ahead with its bid for a second tranche of funding, of up to £1,065,000, from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Emergency Active Travel Fund. Earlier this week, as promised, the authority invited cycling and walking groups across North Yorkshire to prioritise active travel schemes that could form part of the bid.
The bid must be submitted to the DfT by 7 August, so groups have only until the end of this week to give their views to enable the authority to assess the responses before submitting its bid.
The DfT’s guidance indicates that the focus of this round of funding is on providing for walking and cycling, providing an effective replacement for public transport and reallocating road space to pedestrians and cyclists. To be successful, any bid must meet the Government’s strict criteria. Any successful schemes must be delivered by 31 March 2021.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “The new facility we have added to our website to enable anyone to put forward ideas for improvements to cycling and walking provision anywhere in the county is further evidence of our commitment to active and sustainable travel.
“It will remain on our website as a tool to enable us to consider all suggestions from the public. If any suitable schemes are submitted immediately, it may be possible to look at those for this tranche of funding, but it is more likely that any schemes that are shown to be practical and appropriate could be considered for future funding opportunities.”
The map-based submission form can be found here. People are asked to mark the location of their suggested improvement on a map and give details of the idea and why it would be helpful.
Cllr Mackenzie added: “In the meantime, the schemes from across North Yorkshire that we are inviting walking and cycling groups to prioritise includes schemes suggested by cycling groups, residents and councillors alongside those identified through our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans. These plans have been created to ensure we are ready to bid for funding as opportunities arise.”
The Emergency Active Travel Fund is the first phase of a £2bn five-year sustainable travel package announced by the Government.