We are waiting and watching to see what emergency cycling and walking infrastructure North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) will put in, in accordance with the government’s instructions.
These are the key dates:
- 9th May 2020: Grant Shapps announced that active travel will be prioritised as the country emerges from lockdown
- 27th May 2020: the DfT wrote to councils about Emergency Active Travel Funding. The first tranche was to be released as soon as possible. To receive money on the first or future tranches, councils had to demonstrate that they have ‘…a swift and meaningful plan to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians, including strategic corridors.’
- 5th June 2020: deadline for the first round of funding. ‘Anything that does not meaningfully alter the status quo on the road will not be funded,’ according to the DfT’s letter.
- 3rd July 2020: work on ‘first round’ schemes must have started. ‘If work has not started within four weeks of receiving your allocation…the Department will reserve the right to claw the funding back.’ [In calculating the date, I assume funding is received on 5th June].
- 31st July 2020: ‘first round’ work must be finished.
- Later in the summer: those local authorities that act swiftly and with purpose can expect to receive further funds to install further, more permanent measures to cement cycling and walking habits.
As we reported on 5th June 2020, NYCC made a first round bid for £266,000, but we don’t have any details of the schemes the county council has in mind.
Lack of consultation with HDCA
Our Chairman has been trying to engage with Councillor Mackenzie to discuss this for a number of weeks, and suggested a Zoom meeting, but to no avail.
HDCA is a key consultee of both Harrogate Borough Council and NYCC, so it’s very disappointing that NYCC have not engaged with us. We have, nevertheless, told them about our suggestions for post-lockdown active travel improvements.
Dates for the diary
Assuming that NYCC do not consult with us (which now seems likely but remains unbelievably disappointing), we will be looking out for public announcements about the first round schemes.
We have diarised 3rd July 2020 to check that works have been started.