Stoke-on-Trent City Council have received over half a million pounds in funding from the Government’s Active Travel Fund to create two major new cycle routes in the city.
An allocation of £630,000 was granted from the Government to the city council to carry out the works along Shelton New Road and College Road in Stoke-on-Trent, further improving and promoting environmentally-friendly travel opportunities across the city.
The funding comes from an allocated £504,750 from the second tranche of the Department for Transport’s fund, after the local authority has previously secured £126,000 from the first tranche.
According to local press, as part of the works across the two sites, there will be traffic management measures, segregated cycle lanes and the removal of unnecessary through-traffic by the city council, to help create a more “user-friendly experience”.
The council has separately secured £9m funding from the Transforming Cities Fund to turn College Road into a dedicated bus route. This work will follow the Active Travel Fund scheme.
Dan Jellyman, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Regeneration and Heritage at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes while we waited to receive the final funding offer from Government.
“Now we have that confirmation, we can start moving ahead with the planning and delivery of these projects, and both will be subject to a public consultation which is one of the requirements of the funding.
"We also have to deliver the projects within timescales set by the Department for Transport, so the proposals we put forward have to be realistic, scalable and achievable.
“Given the polycentric nature of Stoke-on-Trent and how it is flat in some places and quite ‘hilly’ in others, it can be a difficult city for some people to cycle from A to B. We’ve tried to focus on schemes that support safe, inclusive and sustainable travel that we can deliver quickly.
"Alongside the fantastic news we received from the Government last week that our £36 million Transforming Cities Fund bid has been given the go-ahead, this additional funding is very welcome as we improve the city’s transport network to revolutionise how residents get around, and ensure we build back better from coronavirus.”
However, the final award of £630,000 has stoked some controversy. Both allocations of funding from the first and second tranches were reduced by 25% from the indicative allocations announced back in April.
Officials at the Department for Transport had previously said the awards were reduced where authorities failed to show sufficient ambition with their plans. The reductions equate to around £210,000 in funding.