MTP chairman Scales “considers” sustainable transport funds

Michael Hunt

Merseyside Transport Partnership's Neil Scales is relishing the opportunity to bid for £29m of investment that aims to create England's first "sustainable travel city".

Last week, Transport Minister Paul Clark named Merseyside and Greater Manchester amongst the nine urban areas eligible to bid to become the country's first sustainable travel city.

The multi-million pound investment would be used to encourage greener travel choices, including plans to support walking and cycling and initiatives to improve public transport.

Neil Scales, chairman of MTP, said: "We shall definitely be considering bidding for it. We have already discussed the potential of expanding our highly successful TravelWise programme to help us become a more sustainable travel city as part of our proposals for transport planning across the new Liverpool city region.

"Those plans are due to be submitted later this summer so we are clearly in line with Government thinking.

"The Merseyside Transport Partnership are already in the vanguard of many areas of sustainable travel, with our successful TravelWise campaign to help people make smarter travel choices and dozens of schemes to make walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport easier for everyone.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to make a real step change in the way we approach travel, so that we can reduce congestion and carbon emissions and make our region a more efficient, successful and healthier place to live and work."

Up to £29m over the next 3 years will be invested in at least one of England's largest cities to encourage greener travel choices.

The chosen city will introduce innovative new strategies and build on existing work to achieve this, such as:

  • Work or school travel planning
  • Cycle training
  • Personalised travel planning
  • Online journey planning
  • Car share and club schemes
  • Dedicated bus routes
  • Improved bus stops and shelter
  • Cycling / pedestrian routes
  • 20 mph zones
  • Consideration of parking provision

The other seven areas include West Midlands, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West of England (Bristol), Nottingham and Leicester.

The eligible areas will be provided with full details and a bidding timetable during May. England's first sustainable travel city will then be announced later in the year.

Merseyside Transport Partnership will also hold a breakfast briefing at Jury's Inn in Liverpool this Thursday (21 May) to debate sustainable transport.

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