Central Bedfordshire Council, in partnership with Luton and Bedford Borough Councils, have recently been successful with their bid to the Department for Transport’s ‘Access Fund’ for over £2,000,000 of funding to continue to promote walking, cycling and other sustainable travel modes.
The funding will support local projects over 3 years from 2017 to 2020 and form part of a wider government package of more than £300 million to boost walking and cycling.
The project focuses on the promotion of walking and cycling (and bus use) to the Midland Main Line train stations in Bedfordshire. It will build on infrastructure, station travel and improvement plans already in place to maximise connectivity to employment opportunities providing access to training and education. The project aims to reduce parking pressures, as well as congestion and air quality issues between towns and around the stations themselves. The project will also seek to work with other existing health and community initiatives to identify the support needed to develop a more healthy and independent approach to travel.
Our aims for the next 3 years
Over the next three years the authorities will be providing:
more safety and awareness training for cyclists
extra secure cycle storage
improved information provision at stations between Bedford and Luton Airport Parkway to make cycling, walking and public transport journeys to our stations more straightforward
bike repair/maintenance courses and bike loans
mapping information for pedestrians
bespoke support for job seekers and those unable to access training and education opportunities
funding for Bike-It schemes in schools
Nationally this funding could lead to:
95 million fewer miles in car journeys
99,000 extra walking trips per day
40,000 extra cycling trips per day
The project is the first of its kind in Bedfordshire whereby all three authorities are seeking to deliver a joint programme.