The Department for Transport in the UK recently invited local councils to apply for grants to improve walking and cycling routes. Millions of people are expected to benefit from £200 million of government funding.
The “active travel” scheme is part of a wider plan to lower CO2 levels by 2030 and encourage people to engage in healthier means of transport.
Funding will be used to improve paths in rural areas, create routes that encourage more children to walk to school and support people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
David Renard, the transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said the aim is to encourage more people to use greener forms of transport than their cars.
Before the active travel grants are awarded to local councils, representatives will be invited members of the public to raise suggestions. Projects that are given the green light will be announced later in the year.
It is thought that projects that promote healthier ways for children to travel to school will be given priority together with all-inclusive street designs that support modes of transport used by disabled people.
The Office of National Statistics says that less than 50 per cent of children aged 5 to 16 walk or cycle to school. The active travel funding hopes to encourage 55% of all primary school children to walk to school by 2025.
Other projects will aim to improve the safety at crossings and junctions together with improving high streets to encourage more foot traffic to local businesses. It is expected that the active travel scheme will create more jobs.
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