£3.1m investment in sustainable transport schemes in the Southampton area27th January 2017
Southampton City Council, working jointly with Hampshire County Council, has successfully secured £2.3m of funding from the Department for Transport. The money will go towards a three year, £3.1m, programme to support cycling and walking projects as part of the award winning “My Journey” sustainable travel programme.
The funding will help the authorities to deliver on the visions set out in the emerging Southampton Cycle Plan and the recently adopted Hampshire Cycling Strategy. These include activities and projects to increase the uptake of cycling and walking in and around the Southampton area. The ambition is to create a cycling and walking culture that enriches people’s lives, providing them with realistic travel choices to access work, education, enhance skills, get more active and tackle the pressing air quality problem across the area.
The programme consists of three themes:
1. Reducing transport barriers for 600 long term unemployed people who are seeking a job or training, and working with over 100 employers to enable more staff to cycle and walk to work.
2. Working with 15,000 pupils and parents across 38 schools in the area to build awareness, skills and confidence making travel to school by bike and on foot easier and safer.
3. Showcasing cycling and walking through a totally new ‘Legible Cycle Network’, a Southampton Cycle Festival and grass roots support for community groups designed to overcome barriers to physical activity.
The funding secured will complement planned investment in cycling and walking infrastructure targeted along three key corridors that connect to major employment, training and education sites within the Southampton Travel to Work area (this covers Southampton, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford, Hedge End, Botley and Totton). This planned investment will be delivered by the local authorities, Solent LEP, Highways England and partners including University of Southampton and the Port of Southampton, totalling £19.1m over the period 2016 to 2020. This multi-organisation approach ensures that the benefit of investing in the infrastructure can be maximised.
On top of the Department for Transport’s £2.3m of funding, Southampton City Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Sustrans, the University of Southampton, British Cycling and CyclingUK will contribute an additional £800k, for a total package of initiatives worth £3.1m.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport at Southampton City Council said: “This is a fantastic investment in cycling and walking in the Southampton area and represents real backing for our emerging Cycle Plan. We want to create a true cycling city that inspires people and makes it a better, safer and easier place to cycle and walk around.
“My Journey has seen great success over the past five years in getting people on their bikes and walking more, and this announcement enables us to continue to build on this success so that everyone benefits. There are some real issues in Southampton around air quality, poor health and congestion that these projects will work towards tackling. We know that over 23,000 people commute between Southampton and Eastleigh each day, making it the busiest route in South Hampshire, and getting more people to cycle and walk to work and school will improve conditions for everyone.”
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: “This funding will help us build on the successful partnerships we’ve established, improvements we’ve made, and campaigns we’ve run over the past few years to encourage people in Hampshire to leave their cars at home for some of their journeys. Cycling and walking when possible can have a significant impact on congestion levels on the roads at peak times as well as improving general health and wellbeing.”