A ring fenced grant of £1.5m has been given to Brighton and Hove City Council to spend on projects to encourage people to ditch their cars and use greener forms of transport.
The money, which cannot be spent on capital projects such as cycle lanes or anything except promoting sustainable transport, is in addition to almost half a million pounds already given for a similar project in East Brighton.
The new grant will be spent over three years on schemes such as advising people struggling with the cost of travelling on cheaper options, promoting the new bike share project, helping low paid people build their own bikes, and cycling and bike maintenance training.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “This funding recognises the council’s commitment to helping families, workers, students and visitors to choose travel options other than the car. This in turn reduces congestion, improves bus journey times and brings health benefits along with cleaner air for everyone in Brighton & Hove. The project will help people to access work and training, which will contribute to the local economy, and make Brighton & Hove a successful and prosperous city as we move into the 2020’s.”
The city’s acting director of public health Peter Wilkinson said: “This award is great news for the health and wellbeing of our residents. As well as supporting access to employment and education, it will help Brighton & Hove to be a more active city. Promoting walking and cycling as an easy option will have benefits not only for physical health, but also for mental health and wellbeing.”
The grant was welcomed by Brighton Kempton MP Simon Kirby, who said: “This is great news for Brighton and Hove. Many more people will be encouraged to cycle and walk to work thanks to this Government investment.”
The focus of the scheme, which is expected to reach 10,000 people a year, is to remove some of the barriers which can prevent people from getting a job and accessing skills training.
The idea is also to promote travel which improves air quality, reduces congestion and improves physical and mental health.
The Brighton & Hove Access for Sustainable Travel Project is being funded by the Department for Transport via its Access Fund for Sustainable Travel, with money ring-fenced for local sustainable transport projects. It cannot be spent on other things in the city.
The council successfully bid for the funding in a competitive process which was open to all transport authorities in England, excluding London.
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