The Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA) has today won £4.9m in funding to help create active forms of sustainable, low carbon travel across Tyne and Wear.
The successful bid was made to a national Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The fund was competitive and Tyne and Wear got the full amount it bid for.
The project sets out a range of actions aimed at providing low carbon alternative forms of travel to encourage schoolchildren and their parents to adopt active and low carbon ways to get to and from school.
School traffic has a significant impact on congestion at peak times with journeys taking 25% longer than when schools are shut during the holidays.
A key objective for the ITA in the bid was to develop attractive and practical alternatives to car use to be used by parents and children as a way to make a real impact on congestion.
The project has four key aims:
- To reduce congestion and make journey times more reliable and predictable which will benefit the economy
- To increase the proportion of journeys made by low-carbon and sustainable forms of travel with reduced carbon emissions
- To encourage active travel as a form of transport to increase the levels of physical activity amongst young people with significant health benefits
- To reduce the volume of motorised traffic at the start and finish of the school day to improve safety around school entrances
Measures include encouraging more children to walk or cycle to school. Further initiatives using public transport will also address all types of school journey, from those who live close to the school to those who live some distance away.
Cllr David Wood, Chair of the Integrated Transport Authority said: “I am delighted with the news that we have been awarded the full amount we bid for. This funding will help us tackle ‘school run’ traffic with the aim of reducing congestion and carbon emissions while increasing physical activity for young people across Tyne and Wear.”
Barry Rowland, Chief Executive at Newcastle City Council and Clerk to the ITA said: “This is excellent news for Tyne and Wear. It will help to create jobs, improve health, and promote accessibility for local people. It will add to our growing reputation as one of the UK’s most sustainable areas.”
The ITA has applied for a total of £24.053m from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund to promote and enhance sustainable transport in the region, including the £4.904m approved today.
Initial proposals for a large project bid have been submitted to the Department for Transport which it is hoped will follow the success today of the initial Key Component bid, decisions on this are not expected in 2011.
The project has commitment and backing from a wide stakeholder group including Living Streets and Sustrans with support from North East Chamber of Commerce, Tyne and Wear Development Company, NE1 and public transport operators.
Active travel and the measures proposed are consistent with the goals and vision for transport outlined in the Local Transport Plan 3 (2011-21).