There is great disappointment as North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has failed to secure the full amount of active travel funding provisionally allocated to it.
The Emergency Active Travel Fund is funding from the DfT to councils, to reallocate road space to walking and cycling in response to the Coronavirus. The indicative Tranche 1 amount for North Yorkshire was £266,000, as we reported on 5th June 2020.
We have been told by the DfT that only 50% of that amount, £133,000, was in fact awarded to NYCC.
Councils had been told by the DfT, ‘To receive any money under this or future tranches, you will need to show us that you have a swift and meaningful plan to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians, including strategic corridors.’
This should include “point closures” – closing certain main roads or parallel side streets to motor traffic.
‘Anything that does not meaningfully alter the status quo on the road will not be funded.’
It appears that half of NYCC’s proposals were not ambitious enough, and/or did not meet the criteria.
NYCC can bid for a futher £1,065,000 later in the summer. The same criteria apply, but if anything they will have to show more ambition.
There is a clear mandate for active travel in Harrogate. In the 2019 Congestion Survey, 77% of respondents were in favour of better walking and cycling infrastructure.
If NYCC is allocated only 50% or less of the Tranche 2 indicative amount, and misses out on half a million pounds or more, it will be hard to explain why to those who took the time to respond to the Survey.
We are a key consultee of the county council, but they did not consult us over their Tranche 1 plans. We are asking them to work with us to develop ambitious Tranche 2 plans.