Sheffield civic leaders bid for more than £11.5 million for active travel programmes in city
Sheffield City Region and Sheffield Council have bid for more than £11.5 million for further active travel schemes.
Sheffield is aiming to receive a £3.5 million share of the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund fund to go towards transforming the city’s transport network and encouraging sustainable travel.
Councillor Douglas Johnson, executive member for climate change, environment and transport at the council, said: “This is a really exciting time in our Connecting Sheffield programme and the submission of this funding application marks the next phase of our vision for creating a truly sustainable and accessible travel network for our residents and businesses.
“We fully recognise that we are facing a climate emergency and that we need to strengthen our economic and social foundations in the short and long term. Our successful future will depend on investment in a safe, high-quality network for walking and cycling to ensure that our economic recovery is both sustainable and inclusive, aligned to our commitments to carbon reduction, promoting healthier lifestyles and the levelling up agenda.
“This may be cycling or walking to work or leisure and recreation, but it is these Active Travel schemes that will support our communities to flourish and ensure that inclusive mobility is seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. It’s hugely important for our city as it takes the next steps forward into its future, and I am hopeful that the application will be successful.”
If successful, the money will help deliver three key schemes which will all be subject to public consultation.
These are: a cycle route on the east end of the city around Attercliffe and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District; a East Bank Road cycle route connecting Heeley, Arbourthorne and Gleadless Valley and linking to the proposed Sheaf Valley cycle route; and recreational crossings on Abbey Lane for Ecclesall Woods and Crookes Valley Road to Crookes Valley Park, Ponderosa and Weston Park.
Alongside these, there will be a series of bike hire and business grants to help the transition to more non-motorised travel.
Sheffield City Region was awarded £5.46 million from the Active Travel Fund in November for projects including two active neighbourhoods.
Dame Sarah Storey, active travel commissioner for South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “Prior to the pandemic we built a strategy that would enable South Yorkshire to prioritise active travel for short journeys. When the pandemic hit, these short journeys became a lifeline for people shopping locally, getting daily exercise and adjusting the role of transport in our lives, putting the demand for active travel infrastructure far higher up the list of the priorities of more people. Access to walking, running, cycling and places to be active in our neighbourhoods has not only come into a sharper focus but is also sought as a solution to the other health challenges that our communities face.
“People are returning to shopping locally, and across all types of business we are establishing new working patterns. It is therefore vital we are able to create the neighbourhoods and routes that enable everyone, regardless of their access needs, to have more choice about how they get around.”