Councils wait on details of £250m allocation, but warned they must act


The Department for Transport (DfT) has not given details of how the £250m for emergency cycling and walking measures will be allocated despite asking councils to act in the next few weeks.

A DfT spokeswoman confirmed: 'More details on how the funding will be allocated will be published in due course.'

Sources close to the process suggested the details are being worked on and could be ready within a week, adding that councils have the powers to implement the moves the DfT is calling for, which can be temporary and of minimal cost.

According to legal advice received by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking, councils are forced to make the changes and central government could step in to take powers away from councils to ensure interventions are made.

It said: 'The most significant announcement in the new fast-track statutory guidance published today and effective immediately, is that councils are required to cater for significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians by reallocating roadspace, and that the government can take control of highways powers from councils that don't comply.'

However the Government guidance does not go into specifics about how much councils have to spend, how much of the network they should cover or where to focus the interventions.

Cycling campaigners have welcomed the DfT commitment, which is seeking to ensure a 'once in a generation' opportunity to advance modal shift to healthier forms of transport is not wasted.

APPG chair Ruth Cadbury said she 'warmly welcomed' the announcement to take action to boost levels of cycling and walking.

'It is good to see that several of the recommendations from our ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report will now become Government policy.

'What we heard today is a commitment to see active travel modes as a significant solution to reduce pollution and congestion and create a healthier and fitter society. The message from Government was very clear and I hope that Local Authorities around England are bold in following this advice and taking up the support offered.'

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