Sustainable Transport

The Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook is currently gathering news items for major features on the environment and transport in the next edition

In December 2010 Local Transport Minister, Norman Baker announced plans for a new Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The fund was structured to challenge local transport authorities outside London to develop packages of measures that support economic growth and reduce carbon in their communities as well as delivering cleaner environments, improved safety and increased levels of physical activity.

It is aimed at local partnerships – local transport authorities working with their communities – to identify the right solutions for their areas which are financially robust and sustainable in the long term.

Measures could include encouraging walking and cycling, initiatives to improve integration between travel modes and end-to-end journey experiences, better public transport and improved traffic management schemes.

The Government also announced that, in line with its localism agenda, it intends to pool the centrally funded local transport grants to create fewer but larger funding streams which are largely formula based.

At the time Mr Baker said:

“It is at a local level that most can be done to change patterns of behaviour and encourage more sustainable travel, especially for short journeys.

“And in an environment of tighter budgets and greater local flexibility, the Government is determined to reduce bureaucracy and make local transport funding more efficient.

“That is why we intend to pool the myriad of centrally funded local transport grants, to create fewer but larger funding streams, largely formula based, and a new Local Sustainable Transport Fund.”

The Government set aside the following LSTF funding for the following four financial years. For every £1 of DfT funding provided for these schemes, £1.19 is being contributed by local authorities and other partners.

 £m

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

Total

Resource

50 100 100 100 350

Capital

30 40 60 80 210

Total

80 140 160 180 560

In the first round of bidding for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund the Department received 73 bids from across England. In the second round of bidding, the Department received 41 Expressions of Interest for Tranche 2 and 19 Initial Proposals for Large Projects. The deadline for short-listed Large Project business cases is 20 December 2011, and the deadline for Tranche 2 bids is 24 February 2012.

Then at the end of last month, 30 further carbon cutting, growth boosting local transport schemes were given the green light by Transport Minister Norman Baker.

The projects have won funding totalling £113 million as part of the second allocation from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. They are led by 29 English local authorities with many more as partners and cover eight regions. All projects are designed to create a sustainable transport package that delivers economic growth and reduces carbon emissions.

The successful schemes include a variety of measures including improving sustainable transport options for commuters, creating public transport hubs, building better cycling infrastructure and even providing a new ferry service.

Norman Baker said:

“The schemes we are funding today will benefit communities from Devon to Durham by cutting carbon emissions, reducing congestion and stimulating economic growth in these areas.

“By investing in these projects we are signalling our commitment to green growth which will help to kick-start economic activity in local areas while improving access to healthier forms of transport and addressing the problem of climate change.”

The schemes to be funded include:

  • Smarter Travel Slough which will reduce congestion on main roads in the rush hour by increasing the use of walking, cycling and public transport. This will improve air quality and health while supporting business efficiency.
  • Walk to School Outreach will see Durham County Council working with national charity Living Streets and eight other councils to increase the number of children walking to school in 854 primary and 182 secondary schools nationally. The project aims to reduce congestion and improve health through exercise.
  • Travel Torbay Regeneration Project will deliver a new fast ferry service between Torbay and Brixham which will see journey times cut by half, a new cycle route to encourage more low carbon journeys and a supporting package of employer based travel planning to help increase use of public transport.
  • Access to Jobs, Training and Services in Stafford will aim to reduce congestion at peak times in Stafford by improving access to walking, cycling and public transport. People will be encouraged to reconsider their travel habits through offers of discounted bus travel and a new mobile cycle centre providing cyclists with information and advice as well as selling reconditioned bikes.
  • Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism on the Isle of Wight will improve the island’s sustainable transport network to support its bid to become a leading destination for green tourism. This will include the provision of transport hubs and easily-accessible live travel information to help visitors and local people plan their journeys. Walking and cycling routes will also receive a boost.

The May announcement relates to schemes seeking contributions from the Department of less than £5 million. Large projects which have been allocated funding of more than £5 million from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund will be announced by the end of June 2012.

The Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook will continue to report on the success of the fund as we go through the months ahead.

This was submitted by the Parliamentary Information Office. For more information visit Parliamentary Information Office.

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