LEICESTER is set to benefit from nearly £400,000 of Government cash to help make it easier for people to cycle and walk around the city.
Active Travel England – an agency of the Department for Transport, led by former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman – has awarded £396,000 to Leicester City Council from its Capability Fund.
It means the city council will be able to invest in a range of active travel initiatives, including:
- Developing a local plan of cycling and walking infrastructure so that it’s all joined up, contributing to the ongoing development of a city-wide walking and cycling network;
- Training staff in accessibility standards so that cycling and walking schemes are user-friendly for as wide a range of people as possible, including people with disabilities;
- Encouraging people to try walking or cycling by putting on community events, offering guided cycle rides and holding the annual Walk Leicester festival.
Deputy city mayor for transport, clean air and the climate emergency, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “I’m very pleased that our latest bid for funding from Active Travel England has been successful and we will be able to continue with our work to encourage more people to walk and cycle in the city.
“We know that people want to choose active travel options more often, but it needs to be safe, easy and practical for them to do so. This money will enable us to work with more schools and community groups and put on more events so that we can promote use of the extensive network of safe and attractive routes we already have in the city.
“It also means we can improve the next generation of cycling and walking schemes by training our staff in design and accessibility standards.”
Active Travel England is investing £32.9 million across the country to create a national network of experts to work with communities, enhance high streets and make regional roads safer for everyone.
The Capability Fund will support local authorities across the country to train and retain local engineers and planners, creating a skilled active travel workforce able to collaborate effectively with local communities and conduct high-quality engagement and consultation sessions.
National Active Travel Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “If we want millions more people to walk, wheel and cycle to schools, shops and workplaces, we need to give them what they need to make the switch.
“Delivering schemes that offer an attractive choice takes technical skill, local knowledge, and community involvement. Survey after survey has shown people want the choice to be able to use the car a bit less and would love their kids to have more transport independence, so we aim to ensure they are at the heart of creating the right solution for their area. 2023 is the year Active Travel England will start to make that happen.”
You can also sign up to ride with Santander Cycles Leicester, the city’s innovative e-bike share scheme (and the largest of its kind in the country) at rideonleicester.com
The Choose How You Move website also has links to the Walk Leicester and Ride Leicester e-newsletters, which provide monthly updates on local walking and cycling activities in the city.
Leicester City Council has also joined with Leicestershire County Council and Betterpoints to offer a rewards challenge, where participants can earn points for walking, running and cycling. Track your journeys by downloading the free Betterpoints app and earn points which you can redeem for high street vouchers, or donate to your favourite charity.
For more details, see choosehowyoumove.betterpoints.uk
Picture shows members of Leicester City Council's transport team and Cllr Adam Clarke (second left) with Chris Boardman (centre) in Leicester
About Active Travel England
Active Travel England is the government’s executive agency responsible for making active
travel the preferred choice for everyone to get around in England. Its objective is for 50% of
trips in England’s towns and cities to be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2030. By working with
local authorities to improve standards of active travel infrastructure and make travelling
actively easy, safe and fun, it is enabling people to choose a healthier, greener and cheaper
form of transport for everyday journeys.
Active Travel England is an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Transport.