Emergency Active Travel Fund
As part of its Covid-19 response, in May 2020 government announced a £250m Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) to deliver quick, emergency interventions to make cycling and walking safer. The aim of government’s EATF is to try and embed walking and cycling as part of long-term commuting habits to secure the associated health, air quality and congestion benefits. In the short-term this will also help avoid overcrowding on public transport as the economy restarts.
These measures will complement the walking and cycling improvements that the County Council delivers as part of its annual integrated transport and capital maintenance programmes. These include programmes to help people access local jobs, training, shops and services, such as through the provision of new crossings, cycleway and footway improvements, and dropped kerbs. There are over 900km of cycleways in the county and the Council looks to secure funding to enhance and upgrade cycle routes, whenever funding for such schemes becomes available. These improvements have recently included upgrading cycle routes in the Mansfield, Mapperley, Newark and West Bridgford areas.
Tranche 1 of the recently announced EATF funding is available for temporary active travel measures and the Department for Transport (DfT) has allocated £263,250 towards the County Council’s proposals.
The Council’s COVID 19 Resilience, Recovery and Renewal Committee determined the schemes to be delivered using the Tranche 1 funding at its meeting on 16 July 2020.
Tranche 2 of the EATF is for both temporary, low-cost schemes, and permanent schemes with a short lead time, so long as they meet the government’s criteria and must be deliverable (or committed) by the end of the 2020/21 financial year. While Nottinghamshire has an indicative allocation of £2.29m of the Tranche 2 funding, the actual sums allocated to authorities are subject to bids to government which had to be submitted by 7 August 2020.
The County Council has submitted a bid for the following schemes:
- A6191 Chesterfield Road North/South, Mansfield – improvements to the existing on-road cycle lane from north of Rosemary Street to south of Debdale Lane junction to provide a fully segregated cycle track
- Beeston cycling improvements – A point closure to through traffic on Dovecote Lane to provide a quiet route for cyclists; and additional secure cycling hubs at the nearby rail station
- High Pavement, Sutton in Ashfield – conversion of existing traffic lanes and removal of short-stay on-street parking to create a new lightly segregated cycleway (e.g. by using traffic wands); along with improvements to the High Pavement/Station Road/Forest Street junction traffic signals (to provide crossing facilities for cyclists and to improve capacity for other vehicles)
- Randall Way, Retford – a new fully segregated cycleway/footway adjacent to the existing carriageway between Hallcroft Road and the A638 North Road
- Regatta Way, Gamston – upgrade of the existing shared use footway to create a new fully segregated cycleway between Adbolton Lane and the A6011 Radcliffe Road
- Victoria Street/Portland Street, Newark – creation of a new lightly segregated cycleway on Victoria Street/Portland Street following the introduction of a new one-way traffic system on Victoria Street/Portland Street/Albert Street
- A behaviour change support package specifically targeted along the Tranche 1 and proposed Tranche 2 infrastructure improvements, as well as in the locations/town centres to which these routes improve access.
It should be noted that the costs of the above proposals exceed the Council’s indicative allocation. Further information on what will be delivered using the Tranche 2 funding will be available when the Council has agreed its programme with the DfT. The proposals are also still subject to the necessary Committee approval, detailed scheme investigation and design, consultation, safety audit and equality impact assessments.