George Eustice, Member of Parliament for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle has today welcomed the announcement that Cornwall is set to benefit from a game changing £759,000 to help make roads safer fir pedestrians and cyclists.
As part of a government initiative to encourage more people to take up walking and cycling, Cornwall has been allocated its share of the £250 million announced earlier this month to fast-track plans for new walking and cycling lanes. This will include £25 million to fund vouchers for cycle repairs, helping to shoulder the cost and encourage people to get their old bikes out and get back cycling.
The funding comes following the unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across this country that people have been doing throughout the pandemic. Not only will these plans help encourage more people to take up and continue walking and cycling, it is hoped that they will lead to healthier lifestyles whilst also ensuring that the roads, bus and rail networks can meet capacity for future increases in demand.
Measures to boost greener, active transport could include:
- Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling;
- Wider pavements;
- Safer junctions;
- Cycle and bus-only corridors.
George commented, "Across Cornwall people have been working hard doing their part to beat the virus. Many of us have taken to the roads and pavements to cycle, run and walk as part of our daily exercise and they have been quieter meaning more of us have taken up these activities. As we move through the next phases in our recovery, we need to ensure that our vital transport services and roads do not become overcrowded and therefore people should continue to use the alternative methods such as walking, cycling and running that they have become used to.
"Not only will this help promote healthier lifestyles and a greener Cornwall in the months and years ahead, it will help encourage all of us to take a healthier approach to things. I hope that the Council will now work with the people of Cornwall to ensure that this funding will have a lasting impact and encourage yet more people to take up these fun activities."
Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps said,
“During this crisis, millions of people have discovered cycling - whether for exercise or as a means of safe, socially-distanced transport. While there is no change to the ‘stay at home’ message today, when the country does get back to work we need those people to stay on their bikes and be joined by many more.
“Otherwise, with public transport’s capacity severely restricted at this time, our trains and buses could become overcrowded and our roads gridlocked – holding up emergency services, critical workers and vital supplies. We know cars will continue to remain vital for many, but as we look to the future we must build a better country with greener travel habits, cleaner air and healthier communities.”
An updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be launched by the Prime Minister in the summer, with further measures to transform cycling and walking to deliver the government’s aims to double cycling and increase walking by 2025.