The government announced that local authorities could bid directly for a range of active travel funding based on how they encourage proposed schemes.
Local authorities focusing on active travel can receive funding from the government to maintain these changes. These are done to encourage behavioural change across the nation, and several partners are offering to fund for active travel schemes.
The active travel fund is part of a larger government behaviour change plan to promote new forms of transport in specific communities.
Active transport like cycling or walking is encouraged across the country, and this fund is available to make it possible in more places across the nation.
This guide shares what you need to know about the active travel fund and whether your county council is eligible.
Active Travel Funding refers to financial resources allocated by governments or organisations to support and invest in projects, initiatives, and infrastructure that promote and encourage active travel modes, primarily walking and cycling.
This funding is aimed at improving the conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, enhancing safety, and creating more sustainable and healthier transportation options.
Active travel funding is typically part of broader efforts to reduce dependence on motorised vehicles, address traffic congestion, improve public health, and mitigate environmental impacts.
Key aspects of Active Travel Funding include:
Infrastructure Development: Funding is often used to develop and improve infrastructure that supports active travel, including the construction of dedicated bike lanes, pedestrian pathways, bike-sharing systems, bike racks, crosswalks, and other facilities.
Safety Measures: Investments are made in safety enhancements, such as traffic calming measures, improved signage, pedestrian signals, well-marked crosswalks, and measures to separate cyclists and pedestrians from motorised traffic.
Education and Promotion: Part of the funding may be allocated to educational campaigns and initiatives that promote active travel, raise awareness about its benefits, and encourage individuals to choose walking and cycling for their daily transportation needs.
Research and Planning: Funding may support research, data collection, and planning efforts to identify areas with high potential for active travel, assess existing infrastructure, and develop strategies for its improvement.
Community Engagement: Involving local communities in the planning and decision-making process is an important component. Funding can support community engagement efforts to ensure that projects align with the needs and preferences of residents.
Environmental Considerations: Active Travel Funding may be tied to environmental goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and enhancing urban sustainability by reducing car dependency.
Accessibility: Ensuring that active travel infrastructure is accessible to people of all abilities is a priority. Funding may be used to implement accessibility features like curb cuts, ramps, and tactile paving.
Evaluation and Monitoring: Ongoing evaluation and monitoring of active travel projects are crucial to assess their effectiveness and make necessary improvements. Funding may support these evaluation efforts.
Active Travel Funding can come from various sources, including national and regional government budgets, grants, public-private partnerships, and special programs dedicated to promoting sustainable transportation.
The allocation of funds often depends on government policies and priorities related to transportation, public health, and environmental sustainability.
The specific initiatives and projects funded by Active Travel Funding can vary widely from one location to another, as they are tailored to the needs and objectives of the community or region receiving the funding.
Following the unprecedented amount of walking and cycling done in local authorities through the pandemic, the government wants to encourage more of this positive behaviour.
This is why the UK government is working to grant local authorities funding as part of the active travel fund, an initiative to keep Britain moving.
The funding package is one of many behaviour change projects the government is working on and is designed to encourage community groups across the country to partake in active travel for their everyday journeys.
The active travel grant will work to promote active travel by funding walking infrastructure plans, cycle parking, and other cycling facilities across the nation in any interested local authority.
With the Active Travel Fund, local authorities can reallocate road space for walking and cycling, and there have been three schemes to date:
Tranche 1: Supported the installation of temporary projects during the pandemic, such as for social distancing needs
Tranche 2: Supported the creation of longer-term projects
Tranche 3: Intends to fund the creation of longer-term projects in a bid to encourage cycling and walking in low-traffic neighbourhoods across the country.
We are currently working with the third instalment of this fund, with grants already being awarded to local authorities across the nation to support long-term projects. More locations are yet to receive funding, and this scheme will continue until the end of 2022.
In the third Active Travel fund tranche, which is currently running, the government wants to continue encouraging innovative projects to improve the safety of walking and cycling in any local area.
There is now more money available which can be used for longer-term projects and aims at setting permanent change in regions across the country about how residents travel, moving the public towards more active methods.
Following the success of the first round during the pandemic and supporting the construction of accessible lanes for cyclists and walking infrastructure, the Active Travel Fund continues to support the development of more cycling and walking lanes.
The fund will be used in all new schemes that improve safety for more people who want to cycle or walk in their local area, such as creating cycle paths.
This will be given to local transport authorities to support the construction of any cycling and walking infrastructure, including developing detailed design plans and any other project phase.
Money given as part of this fund must be used to support projects that encourage local cycling and walking, as it aims to get all kinds of community groups active and away from public transport or personal vehicles.
Active travel schemes are designed to encourage residents across the nation to undertake more local journeys by foot or bike instead of relying on public transport. To do this, there must be safe cycle and footpaths, which cost a lot to develop.
The fund is part of an overall larger initiative offered by the government related to behavioural change, which we have already seen being offered out.
In early 2022, the Department of Transport confirmed that there would be another phase of the funding scheme following locations that had already begun working on new transport ideas to support social distancing during the pandemic.
Now money is being offered to support longer-term schemes, encouraging the development of permanent cycle and foot paths across the nation.
With this scheme, cyclists can travel safely through towns thanks to bike paths, and there are other options for residents to travel locally whether they cycle or walk.
The Active Travel fund is open to any county council working towards the behaviour change scheme, as outlined by the government. A large part of this scheme is encouraging active transport, such as cycling or walking locally instead of driving.
Under this scheme, a fund is available to support the development of cycling and footpaths, infrastructures and road space which can ensure these options are safe for residents.
This fund started during the pandemic to support temporary cycle lanes and footpaths, and now the third part of the scheme is to be rolled out for longer-term projects.
Towns are producing cycling and walking infrastructure projects to support the locals' needs and move towards a healthier future.
These potential schemes now have a longer timeline thanks to this additional funding, meaning there will be better chances to cycle or walk locally from here on out.
Contact local authorities to see whether you can apply for this fund and how it will improve your area.
Active Travel England
Active Travel Funding 2023
Emergency Active Travel Fund
Active Travel Guidance
Department for Transport