Funding boost for green transport

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, August 7, 2014

 

UP TO almost £1 million could be given to the Isle of Wight Council to fund environmentally-friendly transport projects later this year.

The council announced today (Thursday) that it had been told its bid for £990,000 of funding under the government's latest Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) had been successful and it would find out in the autumn how much money it will receive.

The fund has been created to promote sustainable transport, such as improving cycling facilities, reducing carbon emissions from vehicles and increasing the use of public transport.

The council was awarded cash in 2012, which has been spent on projects including upgrading several cycle tracks and bridleways, including the Cowes to Newport route, and making community grants available to allow businesses to install cycling facilities including bike racks and shelters.

Other schemes included converting a number of buses to carry bicycles, promoting events such as the Isle of Wight Walking and Cycling festivals, improving access to the Island’s coastal path, and establishing the 'Bicycle Island’ marketing campaign in conjunction with Visit Isle of Wight, a spokesman said.

Cllr Luisa Hillard, executive member for sustainability, environment and public realm, said: "The success of this grant application shows how committed this council is to developing more sustainable forms of transport.

"The first LSTF grant was focused on promoting car-free tourism but our plan under the second grant from the LSTF is focused on helping residents get to school and work without using petrol or diesel cars.

"We will be working with our partners to run various schemes and projects aimed at making long-term changes as part of our commitment to being a sustainable Island."

The council said the Department for Transport commended the bid for 'showing a very strong understanding of the issues and opportunities on the Island, such as access to employment, as well as how increases in the take up of cycling and walking could be achieved.'

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