Portsmouth City Council is pleased to announce that government awarded £214,515 from their Emergency Active Travel Fund for initial temporary improvements to cycling and walking. The Department for Transport described the bid as being "particularly strong" and this has resulted in the council being awarded £25k more than the indicative allocation.
Improving the way we travel in Portsmouth contributes to creating economic growth in Portsmouth as well as helping to address the climate emergency. This fund will help accelerate plans that were in place for the future and introduce additional safety improvements to increase social distancing.
The fund will be used for some changes already in place including increased space at the seafront for cycling and walking and increased space on key parts of cycle routes that connect to the city centre. Work starts today on the creation of two temporary pedestrian crossings on Eastern Parade, to make it safer for those walking to and from the seafront.
Further projects were included in the bid and these will progress at a pace in line with the funding requirements. These include pop up cycle lanes, cycling and walking priority on Castle Road and Canal Walk and a low traffic neighbourhood created with a one way system to reduce vehicles levels. Now that the funding is confirmed the council will review the plan and the timing of future projects will be confirmed shortly.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation said "The funding will help us fast track some of our future plans, and the great news for Portsmouth is that the government gave us more funding than they initially allocated and this means we can make further improvements for cycling and walking in Portsmouth that exceeded our hopes.
Transforming the way we travel in Portsmouth is essential for everyone. Active travel is proven to help keep people healthy and reduces the cars on the road that cause air pollution. All of which are connected with reducing the risks of coronavirus and will help reduce the spread.
The council will now bid for the second wave of funding to make further more long term improvements to the city.
For more information on the Emergency Active Travel Fund visit https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/coronavirus-covid-19/emergency-active-travel-fund