Devon County Council looks to make temporary more ‘permanent’ as it bids for second round of active travel funding

More permanent schemes that will help create extra space for cyclists and pedestrians to provide alternatives to public transport are among the plans in Devon County Council’s £1.3 million bid from the second round of Emergency Active Travel Funding.

It follows the successful bid for all of the £338,000 allocation made available to Devon in the first tranche – funding a series of temporary ‘pop-up’ measures which have been installed in Newton Abbot, Exeter, Barnstaple and Bideford.

The latest proposals will need to demonstrate value for money, implement measures to create an environment safer for both walking and cycling, are swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians, with schemes that do not alter the status quo on the road not being funded.

The sum of £1.3 m has been indicatively allocated to the county council, but in order for the full allocation to be awarded the council needs to demonstrate how these proposals will replace public transport journeys with walking and cycling trips.

Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: ‘The Emergency Active Travel Funding is extremely important to help encourage active travel as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. There was only so much we could achieve with the initial allocation of funding for temporary improvements, especially when we had more than 100 proposed schemes from communities.

‘There was a tight timescale on delivering the first round of temporary improvements, but we’ve seen ‘pop-up’ measures installed over the past few weeks. Hopefully we can gain a share of the larger pot of money which is available. This will help us introduce more permanent changes to encourage active travel and support efforts to tackle obesity and the climate emergency.’

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