Walking initiatives are popping up all across the UK in a bid to promote “active travel” and healthy lifestyles. Funding has been given to Walk to School initiatives together with walking paths and cycle lanes.
Various funding schemes and grants are available in the UK to support local authorities, organisations, and communities in implementing active travel projects. These grants aim to improve cycling and walking infrastructure, create safer routes, and encourage more people to choose active modes of transportation in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
The UK government announced £32.9m of funding would be handed to local governments to develop “active travel” schemes.
In addition, the Cycle to Work Scheme offers participants a tax-efficient means of getting to work by offering them the opportunity to purchase a bicycle and cycling equipment through salary sacrifice schemes.
Additionally, campaigns such as National Walking Month and Walk to Work Week promote the benefits of walking and encourage people to incorporate walking into their daily routines.
Funding For New Walking Routes
Improving health and wellbeing with “active travel”, is expected to be seen and felt all over the country. The UK government introduced the CWIS in 2017, which outlines their commitment to increase cycling and walking, making them the natural choices for shorter journeys or as part of longer journeys.
The strategy includes measures such as infrastructure improvements, funding for cycling and walking projects, and education and awareness campaigns.
In May this year, West Berkshire Council received £275,000 from the government in nationwide plans to encourage more “active transport”. New walking and cycling routes will be installed between Theale and Calcot and a new School Street at Francis Baily School in Thatcham.
Norfolk County Council was handed £2.24m for fund eight schemes including pedestrian crossings in Dereham, Fleggburgh, Brundall, Hethersett and King’s Lynn and three mandatory cycle lanes.
The Department of Transport’s Active Travel Fund also handed Surrey County Council £997,843 this month to create “liveable neighbourhoods” which promote the ideas of the 15-minute city — a topic we covered in some depth in this article. It’s worth observing the pros and cons of “the 15-minute neighbourhood” to avoid the general population of being taken advantage of by corporate interests in bed with government officials.
MPs in Cambridge have also promoted the idea of more “20-minute neighbourhoods” where people’s everyday needs can be met within a short walk or cycle ride.
“Liveable cities” is really what the Active Transport schemes are building towards — more convenient access to food and facilities in local communities which will be owned by corporate chains.
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It pays to walk — both for your mental and physical health and for your wallet!