A strong bid to create better infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians has been submitted to Government by North Yorkshire County Council.
The authority is now awaiting the Department for Transport’s (DfT) response to its bid in the second round of funding to be allocated through the Emergency Active Travel Fund.
Following an invitation by the County Council, requests for improvements were received from the public, county councillors and interest groups. These were collated along with schemes identified through the County Council’s Local Cycling and Walking Improvement Plans (LCWIP) and assessed against the Government’s criteria.
This information was circulated to about 100 cycling and walking groups across the county for their comments and suggestions on priorities.
Last month, the County Council launched an online tool to enable anyone to submit a suggestion to improve cycling and walking facilities. Within a week, 290 submissions were made and these, too, were assessed against the DfT’s criteria. The criteria included that schemes can be delivered in 2020/21, replace a well-used bus route, provide a segregated cycle/pedestrian route or close roads to traffic, cater for both cycling and walking and can be delivered within the allocation of £1.065m.
The County Council’s bid includes five capital schemes that it believes meet the DfT’s strict criteria. These 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.
- Market Place, Helmsley, to Kirkdale Lane: a segregated pedestrian and cycle lane along a busy bus route to allow active travel from Beadlam to Nawton.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:
We are grateful to the people from all over North Yorkshire who have already suggested improvements through our website and to the walking and cycling groups across the county who provided feedback on the schemes for possible inclusion in this bid.
The bid had to be prepared quickly, with only about four weeks between receiving the DfT guidance and the deadline, and had to meet strict criteria and a limited budget allocation of up to £1.065m. Unfortunately, this meant that a significant number of potential schemes had to be ruled out for this bid in the knowledge that there will be more funding opportunities in the future.
The schemes we have put forward are those that best fit the criteria. We believe these are strong proposals that can bring genuine travel benefits and we keenly await the decision of the Department for Transport.
The total value of the five schemes exceeds the indicative funding available, but all the proposals were considered strong contenders for funding, so were all included in the submission for the DfT to consider.
The Emergency Active Travel Fund is the first phase of a £2bn five-year sustainable travel package announced by the Government.
The County Council’s bid submission can be read here: www.northyorks.gov.uk/socialdistancingandactivetravel
The submission form for members of the public to suggest walking and cycling improvements remains available, also at www.northyorks.gov.uk/socialdistancingandactivetravel