An ambitious £3.19million bid to enhance facilities for cyclists and pedestrians across North Yorkshire has been given the go-ahead to be submitted by North Yorkshire Council.
The council has been invited to submit a bid in the fourth round of the Government’s Active Travel Fund, following three rounds of funding over the last three years.
A total of £200m is available to councils across England, which is part of the Government’s £2billion commitment to invest in the provision of active travel and better streets for everyone.
North Yorkshire Council has been allocated £1.08m of funding, although are invited to bid for an additional £2.16m.
The priority scheme involves improvements to public spaces, pedestrian crossings and segregated cycleways on Victoria Avenue in Harrogate. This would improve cycling connections to the town centre and transport hubs, supporting the Transforming Cities Fund scheme to enhance the town’s rail and bus station gateways. This would use the full £1.08m of the tranche four funding and would require a further £492,000 from the remaining tranche two funds.
The second scheme requires £458,500 for active travel improvements on Darlington Road in Richmond, including a segregated cycle route, the provision of a 20mph speed limit and improved pedestrian crossings. This scheme was originally part of the Safer Roads Fund but couldn’t be delivered due to the allocated budget.
The third scheme on the A59 Maple Close from Harrogate to Knaresborough would cost £1.65m and involves placing segregated cycle lanes along an existing cycle route. It would deliver improved crossing facilities to link existing cycle routes, Knaresborough town centre and the railway station.
Executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “We want to enable more people in North Yorkshire to have the option of safely and conveniently walking, wheeling and riding.
“Our latest bid, worth more than £3m, is another significant milestone in our efforts to deliver a more balanced approach to travel in the county, which will reduce emissions, cut congestion and promote healthier lifestyles.
“The new infrastructure in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Richmond would significantly improve road safety and unlock an estimated 579 additional walking and cycling trips per day.
“The bid builds on our efforts to encourage more sustainable travel, which in recent years has seen us secure more than £55m of central government funding.”
The council has been awarded £1.5m from Active Travel England since 2020 and an additional £54m of capital funding for landmark active travel improvements such as the Transforming Cities Fund projects in Harrogate, Skipton and Selby stations and the Scarborough and Whitby Town Deals.
The executive member for highways and transport approved the submission of a bid for £3.19m this week.
A decision on bids submitted is expected from the Government on 17 March. Construction must begin on successful projects before 31 March, 2024.