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Coming soon: England’s first Sustainable Travel City

manchester-stationLarge urban areas across England are being given the chance to bid to become the country’s first Sustainable Travel City, Transport Minister Paul Clark announced today.

Up to £29 million over the next three years will be invested in at least one of England’s largest cities to encourage greener travel choices. These could include plans to support walking, cycling and initiatives to improve public transport.

The new programme follows the success of the Transport Department’s three Sustainable Travels Towns, which over the past five years have seen car use fall by up to 9 per cent, walking increase by up to 14 per cent and cycling increase at least 12 per cent.

“Our Sustainable Travel Towns have proved that with the right information and improved facilities we can make a real difference to how people travel,” Clark said. “Giving people a real alternative to the car not only reduces congestion and carbon emissions but also increases the amount of exercise they take. The opportunity to become England’s first Sustainable Travel City will be a chance to see these benefits on a much larger scale and I look forward to seeing the bids coming in.”

The aim of the Sustainable Travel City is to ease congestion, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase levels of physical activity in the local area. By achieving this, the City will provide a model for others to follow. The chosen city will introduce innovative new strategies and build on existing work to achieve this, through such efforts 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 shelters;
  • Cycling and pedestrian routes;
  • 20 mph zones; and
  • Consideration of parking provision.

The major urban areas eligible to apply suffer from the worst congestion in the country. The nine areas include Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside, West of England (Bristol), Nottingham and Leicester.

The Transport Department has also announced up to £3 million in funding for smaller local authority areas to help them develop their own green travel initiatives.

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