Plans for new active travel funding announced by Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire County Council has secured £520,415 from the government’s Active Travel Capability Fund to invest in improving access to active travel options across the county.
This investment will be used to deliver projects that enable more people to walk, wheel or cycle as a first choice for local transport. It will also be used to enhance high streets and improve access to work and education.
Active Travel Minister, Jesse Norman, announced an additional £32.9 million of government funding under an Active Travel Capability Fund last week. The fund supports Active Travel England’s ambition for half of all journeys within English towns and cities to be made through walking, wheeling, or cycling by 2030.
The funding enables the council to deliver more of its wider active travel strategy across South and Vale, Cherwell and West Oxfordshire districts.
Ongoing reporting on shifts to active modes of travel in Oxford, Bicester, and Witney over the last two years all show increases ranging from six to 33 per cent.
Councillor Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy, said: “This is fantastic news. It will help us to support people across the county to get around quicker, easier and more safely. Our ambitions to make Oxford a champion cycling city are well advanced and we are working to improve cycling, walking and wheeling routes around the county.
“We aim to work closely with community groups, workplaces and schools over the coming year to develop and implement positive change in people’s access to better travel options. This will, help Oxfordshire to reduce car journeys by at least a quarter by 2030 and double the numbers of journeys made by bike, on foot, or by wheelchair or scooter.”
The active travel funding must be used for specific projects approved by the Department for Transport. The projects are expected to directly benefit more than 19,000 people locally and include:
- Developing local cycling and walking infrastructure plans for Wantage and Grove and Thame.
- Planning for priority cycleways identified in Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington, and Witney.
- Extending the county council bike library scheme to enable low-income families to be able to cycle to school.
- Sustaining use of the Street Tag walk to school app to encourage participation from more schools across the county.
- Community cycle loan services, cycle maintenance training and community bike repair stands.
- Implementing cycle safety support in secondary schools and workplaces.
- Creating user-friendly local cycling and walking/wheeling maps.
These initiatives are critical to enable people to change how they travel and to ensure that residents who face greater barriers to cycling and walking receive the support they need to become more physically active.
Councillor Dan Levy, Oxfordshire County Council Active Travel Champion, said: “We are now focusing on our larger market towns to ensure we progress well with delivering an excellent cycling network across the county that provides joined-up routes. Through the start of this year we will be planning an inter-connected strategy ensuring that these new projects complement our existing active travel initiatives, including those we are embedding into new housing and transport delivery. These will answer local need and deliver on our wider ambitions for Oxfordshire as a leader in green travel options that are sustainable and practicable.”
For more information about this release contact the Oxfordshire County Council communications team on 01865 323870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
• Active Travel England is an executive agency of the UK government Department for Transport.
• Read the government’s press release on additional active travel funding.