Leeds Road, Harrogate
Leeds Road, Harrogate

The DfT sent a letter to councils on 10th July 2020 inviting them to bid for Tranche 2 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF).

The letter was from Rupert Furness, Head of Active and Accessible Travel at the DfT. He set a deadline of Friday 7th August 2020 for Tranche 2 bids.

The EATF is for both walking and cycling. To receive money in Tranche 2, councils will have to show the DfT:

“…that they have swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians…including on strategic corridors. Schemes that do not meaningfully alter the status quo on the road will not be funded. All cycling schemes…will need to include segregation or point closures to through traffic: advisory cycle lanes, and those marked only with white paint, will not be funded.”

Rupert Furness, DfT Head of Active & Accessible Travel

Tranche 2 allocation partly based on Tranche 1 implementation

The letter goes on to say that funding in Tranche 2 will depend on how swiftly and effectively Tranche 1 plans have been implemented.

That could be ominous for North Yorkshire. Their Tranche 1 plans for Harrogate included some orange cones on a few town centre streets to widen the pavement, but that can’t be described as ambitious.

The one significant plan for cycling is the Beech Grove cycle lane. While work is no doubt going on in the background, changes on the ground are zero so far. Nothing at all.

It is important for NYCC to start work on Beech Grove as soon as possible, and in any event before 7th August 2020.

Tranche 2 funds: other criteria

Tranche 2 funds must be spent or fully committed in this financial year.

The government’s to publish a new Cycling & Walking Vision, plus Guidance on Cycling Infrastructure, in the next few weeks. Local authorities will have to comply with the guidance to receive funds.

Councils must fill in an online Proforma to apply for Tranche 2 funds. It will be their opportunity to set out the strategic case for their bid, as well as details of individual schemes. Details of the prioritisation process applied are required, including alignment with Local Cycling & Walking Investment Plans.

The DfT’s Rapid Cycleway Prioritisation Tool can be used to identify promising locations for new cycleways. In Harrogate, Leeds Road is highlighted as one such location, as well as Ripon Road, Victoria Avenue and Station Parade. Knaresborough High Street is also top-ranked.

Use of consultants should be kept to a minimum.

Next step

The next step is for NYCC to set out its ideas and ask interested groups like HDCA to rank them in order of priority. We believe that will happen at the start of next week.

DfT Tranche 2 Invitation Letter

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