Sheffield cycling schemes move up a gear with £2.5m

Tour de France in North Sheffield: The leading group race down Church Street, Oughtibridge
Tour de France in North Sheffield: The leading group race down Church Street, Oughtibridge
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Sheffield is gearing up for a further push to boost cycling and promote other more sustainable forms of transport with £2.5 million of funding.

The City Region was successful in its bid to the Department of Transport to continue a programme of work focused on making commuting better for businesses and their workers.

The schemes aim to cut congestion and improve air quality, an area in which some parts of Sheffield have struggled in recent years.

The Government handout of £2.5 million was the country’s joint highest along with Manchester and, overall, Sheffield’s local sustainable travel programme is the largest in the country, amounting to £3.1 million when match funding from Sheffield University and others is taken into account.

Projects include loans for electric bikes, cycle lessons and a programme to make HGVs, buses, coaches and vans more fuel-efficient.

Winning the bid was partly based on a number of cycling successes for Sheffield, including hosting part of the Tour de France in 2014, the university-funded Sheffield ByCycle hire scheme and the CycleBoost training scheme.

Nationally, £20.6m is being given out for 23 travel initiatives.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “Green transport cuts congestion and improves air quality. It also offers the cheapest and healthiest way for people to access jobs and education.

“Sheffield’s green travel scheme will make a real difference for residents and help provide better air quality for everyone.”

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore, transport lead for the City Region Combined Authority, said the £2.5m funding would ‘provide a platform for more substantial bids later in the year’.

The work is linked to a growth plan which aims to create 70,000 jobs and 6,000 businesses over 10 years.