The Department for Transport has today invited local authorities to prepare and develop sustainable travel measures for revenue support of up to £1 million under £78.5 million available under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LTSF).
According to Minister for Transport Baroness Kramer, "We have seen some real success stories from previous winning schemes so I am looking forward to considering the plans that are put forward."
"Earlier successful schemes addressed a variety of sustainable transport measures and we saw significant changes in the way people travelled as a result. The improvements the schemes generated have given people more options to make healthier and greener transport choices."
Making it easier and more convenient for people to make their journey from door-to-door by public transport, cycling and walking
DfT said that proposals should consider the importance of integrating sustainable transport to make it easier and more convenient for people to make their journey from door-to-door by public transport, cycling and walking. The guidance document, also published today, sets out the criteria against which decisions on the allocation of funding will be taken and the need to demonstrate value for money, deliverability and affordability of package proposals. The fund will also support Bikeability training.
The DfT said the benefits of the investment will be felt on a national level. By enabling and encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices, the projects will, it is expected, reduce excess traffic delays and help tackle problems such as air quality and noise, while improved cycling and walking infrastructure will help to combat the health problems associated with physical inactivity.
Proposals should be in line with LEP strategic plans, Government's Door to Door Strategy, include government cycling commitments, and may include revenue based behaviour change initiatives
The 17 page Guidance document for the LTSF, also published today, said the Coalition Government recognises the role smarter travel plays in creating the places people want to work and live. In addition, The Department for Transport said it is committed to supporting sustainable travel initiatives which support the local economy, boost economic growth and cut carbon emissions.
Strategic Economic Plans that are currently being developed by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will shape the allocation of the £6 billion DfT contribution to the Local Growth Fund from 2015/16 to 2020/21 as announced in the 2013 spending round.
The Spending Round also announced a new iteration of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund for financial year 2015/16. £100m of capital funding for sustainable travel initiatives, has been included within the Local Growth Fund.
To support the Local Growth Fund’s capital funding allocation, the Department for Transport announced £78.5m in revenue funding for 2015/16. There may be further rounds of revenue funding for sustainable travel subject to the case being supported in future Comprehensive Spending Reviews.
Local Authorities will be expected to work closely with their LEPs "to ensure that sustainable transport proposals are given due consideration in the development of Strategic Economic Plans".
Proposals for the Department for Transport's competition for revenue funding for sustainable travel aims to enhance the benefits of any Local Growth Fund capital projects focussed on sustainable travel.
The competitive is open to all local transport authorities in England, regardless of previous bidding success. This includes local authorities wishing to build on existing sustainable transport schemes.
Bids are expected to be "ambitious, should engage local businesses, and should be focussed on improving health and quality of life for the local community".
They should also seek to achieve the principles laid out in the Door to Door Strategy published in March 2013 which include:
Bidders are asked to note that the Prime Minister's commitment to launch a 'Cycling Revolution' announced in August.
Bids may include revenue based behaviour change initiatives which do not directly require capital funding.
The guidance document provides greater detail on the funding eligibility and assessment criteria for the Department for Transport’s revenue funding competition. It has been drafted in consultation with ADEPT, the representative body for local authorities across the UK, and PTEG, the Passenger Transport Executive Group. DfT also consulted Campaign for Better Transport, Sustrans, CTC, Living Streets, the AA, Passenger Focus and the Bicycle Association.
Application process to be publicised in the New Year
Details of the application process, including the application form, will be published on the Department for Transport website in the new year.