Disappointment as Lincolnshire receives just £105,500 of Government funding to make changes to improve cycling, walking and social distancing in the county
A leading Lincolnshire councillor says that rural areas have been dealt a worse hand after the county was awarded just half of the Government funding it applied for.
Lincolnshire County Council had to submit plans submitted plans last week to the Department for Transport for emergency active travel fund to make changes to a number of town centres, including Spalding and Holbeach.
The council was provisionally allocated just over £1million but had to submit plans to the department before receiving the cash.
It has been allocated £105,500 to make changes to six town centres.
Executive member of Highways Coun Richard Davies said: "It's disappointing that we've only been awarded half of the funding we applied for from the emergency active travel fund. The Department for Transport never revealed what criteria the bids would be assessed against, so councils were left to guess what specific boxes they would be expected to tick, and given very little notice to complete the online form.
"Looking at the funding allocations, it seems that once again rural authorities across the country have been dealt a worse hand than large towns and cities. However, we will still make the most of the £105,500 we have been given and we’re firming up our plans now. Spending this money in full and being able to indicate how we could have spent more will be a powerful message back to the DfT.
"We're putting a lot of consideration into improving our infrastructure and making sure it is useful. Temporary cycle lanes that just fizzle out leaving the cyclist to attempt to merge back into vehicle traffic are worse than nothing at all. We want to ensure our infrastructure is linked up.
"This DfT funding pot was for immediate, temporary changes – just a small part of the ambitious, multi-million pound plans we have for developing our cycling network. As well as pressing ahead with comprehensive cycling and walking plans for each of our towns, we're working with North and North East Lincolnshire councils on a Greater Lincolnshire cycling programme, and applying for the Get Building Fund held locally by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.
"There is a second, larger round of emergency active travel funding later in the year – worth over £800,000 for Lincolnshire – and we're already working on our plans to make sure we secure as much funding as possible."
The plans focused on roads in Lincoln, Grantham, Boston, Spalding, Sleaford and Holbeach.
The hoped for changed could have included:
- Creating temporary cycle lanes using bollards, planters or cones
- Closing roads to vehicles to allow only pedestrians and cyclists
- Widening or creating new pedestrian crossings to maximise space for people
- Providing more cycle parking
- Relocating parking or loading bays to provide extra space for walking and queuing in town and city centres.