£64m Local Sustainable Transport funding
Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, has announced the next round of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). DfT is providing £64m towards improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, better bus journeys and new and upgraded transport interchanges allowing people to easily switch from one mode of transport to another. Further match funding will take the value of the package to over £440m. To be considered for funding, the schemes had to demonstrate how they would boost economic growth, reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and encourage higher levels of cycling and walking to improve public health. The money is in addition to the £3bn being provided for transport through the Local Growth Fund. This latter batch of funding included £600m for sustainable transport and £700m for packages that benefit all road users.
Baroness Kramer said, ‘We want more people to choose to travel in a way that cuts congestion and carbon, delivering economic and environmental benefits. This funding will make that choice easier for millions of people across the country, delivering new sustainable transport schemes throughout England.’
One region benefiting from the funding was South Yorkshire, which has been awarded £4.8m. The money will support a range of schemes, including JobConnector, a new hourly express bus service between Barnsley and Doncaster which will connect communities and jobs in these two towns and in the southern Dearne Valley. Other projects include Travel Choices support, where help is offered direct to employers and employees to show them their travel choices without depending on a car. This includes giving 3,600 existing car drivers a public transport trial. There are also schemes to help promote training and aid businesses in converting their fleet to clean electric vehicles and to reduce fuel consumption, which in turn is expected to help make the county’s businesses more cost efficient.