Thursday, May 26, 2016

News: SCR's £2.5m transport fund stopgap

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The Sheffield city region (SCR) has been successful in its bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) to continue with a programme of activity to make travelling to work better for businesses and employees.

The current Local Sustainable Transport Fund 2 (LSTF2) allocation ended in March 2016 and the DfT announced continuation funding to bridge the gap between the end of LSTF2 and the start of a new Access Fund which is set to be announced later in 2016.

Up to £2.5m was made available to Combined Authority applicants through a competitive bidding process with the funding focusing on cycling, walking and access to employment.

In 2011 and 2012, the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) worked on bids to secure around £30m for various schemes. The aim of the programme was to improve access by more sustainable travel modes within four key economic corridors across South Yorkshire, including the Don Valley between Sheffield and Rotherham.

The project team went on to secure a £4.811m revenue grant for 2015/16.

Delivered under the umbrella of Inmotion!, schemes included cycle hubs, training on eco driving, Wheels 2 Work, low carbon electric vehicles and improvements to infrastructure and access to regeneration sites.

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Last year, the SYPTE handed over responsibility for the co-ordination, development and delivery of transport strategy and policy functions in the Sheffield city region to a newly-established Strategic Hub. The latest bid - "Sheffield City Region: Active, Connected, Efficient" - was drawn up with the help of consultants brought in at a cost of £18,000 due to the short timescales and limited resources within the SCR Transport Team.

Councillor Julie Dore, Transport lead for the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said: "The news that Sheffield City Region has secured £2.5m of revenue funding from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund is very welcome. It will help us sustain a number of successful, locally developed schemes that encourage sustainable travel, and will provide a platform for more substantial bids later in the year."

Martin McKervey, Sheffield City Region LEP Board member, added: "This investment by Government in sustainable transport in Sheffield City Region is excellent news. As a LEP we are committed to bringing together the public and private sectors to make it even easier to do business in the City Region. Connectivity is key to this and this additional funding will enable us to continue on our journey to build a better connected economy which supports businesses to grow and creates job opportunities for residents."

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: inmotion!

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