Young cyclists will be among those to benefit from funds secured by North Yorkshire County Council following a successful bid to Government.
The authority has heard that it will receive more than £200,000 from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Local Authority Capability Fund. The funding is to help authorities to plan good active travel infrastructure.
The County Council will use £36,000 from the fund to ensure that the Bikeability cycle training courses it offers to all year 5 and 6 pupils via their schools remains free to schools.
The cost of delivering the training in the current financial year will be about £240,000. Much of this will be met by grant funding already provided by the DfT and the council’s own contribution, but a shortfall of £36,000 meant that participating schools were being asked to pay £10 per place.
Cllr Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “Bikeability training is enjoyed by children and valued by families and schools and makes an important contribution to road safety. I’m delighted that this funding award ensures the scheme can be freely available to all eligible children. This year, we expect to cater for more than 3,600 children.”
The Capability Fund award will also enable the review and updating of several of the County Council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP), which support a long-term approach to developing cycling and walking networks, and further development and delivery of active travel plans.
The plans for Scarborough, Selby district and Harrogate will be reviewed to ensure they are up to date and comply with the latest guidance.
Also, two officers will be recruited to the County Council’s road safety team to deliver travel plans related to housing developments across the county. They will work with developers from the application stage to embed sustainable and active travel into their designs. They will also work with businesses and schools to promote shifts in travel habits, as well as promoting active travel through the Open North Yorkshire brand.
Cllr Mackenzie added: “This funding enables us to push ahead with our commitment to promote active and sustainable modes of travel across the county, making it easier for people to choose sustainable options, supporting those who want to change their travelling habits and putting us in the best position to take advantage of future funding opportunities to further improve infrastructure.”