Category Archives: money

Sustainable Travel Access Fund for 2017 to 2020 – links to all bid documents

Access Fund for Sustainable Travel

Yesterday the government announced the winners of the £60m Sustainable Travel Access Fund for 2017 to 2020. The fund details are here along with the criteria and application form.

Thousands more people will be encouraged to cycle and walk to work thanks to a £64 million government investment, Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced today (26 January 2017).

The funding will support local projects over 3 years from 2017 to 2020 and form part of a wider government package of more than £300 million to boost walking and cycling during the current parliament.

There were 28 winning authorities. I’ve collated links to each of the bids. 25 were awarded funding from the Sustainable Travel Access Fund, and 3 were awarded funding from the Cycling and Walking to Work fund. Where I’ve not been able to find the bid, I’ve submitted Freedom of Information requests which are also linked.

A spreadsheet with this data is here. (incidentally, the data behind the DfT cycling funding map is available on this Google Fusion Table here).

Sustainable Travel Access Fund 2017-2020

Local Authority Scheme value (£m)
Blackpool Council – Consortium bid with Buckinghamshire CC, Hertfordshire CC, North East CA, Stoke on Trent CC, West Sussex CC, Hampshire CC, Leicester CC, North Lincolnshire Council and Surrey CC 7.498
Brighton and Hove Council 1.485
Bristol City Council (West of England) 6.901
Devon County Council 1.5
East Riding of Yorkshire Council 0.682
East Sussex County Council 1.2
Herefordshire County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.5
Isle of Wight Council 1.35
Kent County Council 1.452
Lancashire County Council – Joint bid with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council 1.94
Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 3.195
Lincolnshire County Council 0.975
Luton Borough Council (joint bid with Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council) 2.128
Norfolk County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.488
North East Lincolnshire Council 1.388
North Yorkshire County Council 0.974
Nottingham City Council – joint bid with Derby City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 2.735
Nottinghamshire County Council 0.845
Plymouth City Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.497
Sheffield City Region Combined Authority – Unable to find FOI Sent 7.5
Slough Borough Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.5
Southampton City Council (joint bid with Hampshire County Council) 2.294
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council joint bid with –Thurrock Council and Essex County CouncilUnable to find FOI Sent 3.322
Tees Valley Combined Authority 3.323
York, City of – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.312

Cycling & Walking to Work Fund

Local Authority Scheme value (£m)
Greater Manchester Combined Authority 1.5
Liverpool City Region – Unable to find FOI Sent 0.77
West Yorkshire Combined Authority 1.5

Local Sustainable Transport Fund – £275,000 spent on widening a trunk road roundabout in Rotherham

P1180766 - cropped

Newly widened, the third outside lane on the approach and on the roundabout is new – Funded by LSTF

In July 2014 Rotherham Council decided to spend £225,000 of their Local Transport Plan funding on improving Rotherway Roundabout [council approval document]

Earlier this year it became clear that the costs had risen to £275,000 and that the funding source had been switched to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund [LSTF final spend document]

£275,000 of LSTF money to be spent on Rotherway Roundabout Revisions. Source

£275,000 of LSTF money to be spent on Rotherway Roundabout Revisions. Source

A significant queue frequently forms on the A630 West Bawtry Road approach to the Rotherway roundabout in the evening peak period and at times this queue can be 600m long. This queue causes delay to traffic using the A630 and also causes issues with some drivers using an adjacent service road at inappropriate speed to cut out some of the queue.

Consideration of the practicalities of the free flow and widening options shows that the preferred scheme is to widen the A631 West Bawtry Road approach from Canklow entry to the Rotherway roundabout and it is recommended that this scheme is progressed to detailed design and implementation.

It is expected that by reducing the length of queues on the A630 West Bawtry Road entry to the Rotherway roundabout that traffic queues and delay would be reduced and that, together with the recently introduced traffic calming, would mean that drivers would no longer use the service road.

This was approved along with the preliminary design below.

Rotherway Roundabout Preliminary Drawing

You can see on Streetview the construction works of the approach widening and the roundabout widening. There was already a shared use footway at the edge, that hasn’t been changed.

This is what it looks like now. Is this a good way to spend £275,000 of LSTF money? I don’t think so!

South Yorkshire Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme – The biggest project in 2015/16 is a car park extension!

logo-960You just couldn’t make it up. Does car parking really count as sustainable transport?

The Sheffield City Region Growth Deal includes a ‘Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme’ with £16.3m investment for five years from 2015/16 to 2021, with £3.3million in the first year.

The list of schemes funded in the first year has been announced and include things like bike paths and pedestrian crossings.

The largest scheme though, at £670,000, is a “Meadowhall Car Park Extension”. You read that right, a car park extension. 19% of the annual sustainable transport exemplar programme budget this year is being spent on a car park extension.

2015-16 Sustrainable Transport Exemplar Programme Schemes

2015-16 Sustrainable Transport Exemplar Programme Schemes

This money could pay for significant amounts of bike paths, cycle parking, reducing through traffic, 20mph zones etc. etc. etc. This year the Sheffield budget for 20mph zones is £400,000, the budget for this car park extension is £670,000.

I’m appalled. Follow the money, and it’s clear what the true priorities are for transport spending.

Schemes announced at Monday 16th March meeting of Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee.

£800,000 investment for cycling and tourism in Yorkshire – Just 0.5% of what’s required

NIck CleggToday Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam has announced £500,000 for cycle infrastructure in Yorkshire.

The Deputy Prime Minister has also announced £500,000 to improve cycling facilities in Yorkshire. The investment will contribute to constructing a number of cycle circuits across the county. Every year each circuit will support 10,000 competitive and recreational cyclists who want to take part in the sport away from traffic, with access to the best support facilities.

Press release

Is this enough money? Given that the population of Yorkshire is 4.9million and the Get Britain Cycling Report recommended we spend £10 to £20 per person per year, Yorkshire needs to invest £49,000,000 per year. £500,000 over two years is clearly not even a drop in the ocean. It represents just 0.5% of what we need to be spending.

It seems that most of this money will be spent on leisure cycling, rather than in investing in creating pleasant towns and cities where people can get around by bike.

Space for cycling logo and 6 demands

Why I don’t trust Sheffield Council on transport, and why you shouldn’t either

Never ever believe anything from Sheffield City Council without double checking the facts and confirming it for yourself.

Case in point, the Penistone Road Pinchpoints scheme. We’ve been lead to believe that funding was restricted to reducing congestion for motor transport and could not be spent on cycling or walking. This is not true and these statements were extremely misleading.

The motor centric nature of transport planning in Sheffield is deeply entrenched and needs to be challenged at every opportunity.

Department For Transport Pinch Points Fund Guidance

Investment need not be restricted to roads and can include investment in cycling and bus infrastructure to help reduce congestion on road networks and/or demonstrate the links to growth.

Quotes from Sheffield City Council

John Bann responded that he took on board all the points raised in relation to cycling and pedestrian facilities. The scheme was possible because of funding from the Government specifically targeted at easing congestion through easing the traffic flow and helping bus services.

John Bahn – Sheffield City Council

I think it must be remembered that this scheme is being largely funded from the Government’s ‘Pinchpoint’ programme, which as the name implies is aimed at relieving localised congestion. In this regard there are some benefits for private vehicle users but really only in terms of better capacity at junctions, not in terms of additional lanes or higher priorities… For the above reasons it is fair to say that the funding is not specifically for cyclists and pedestrians but we do feel that we have managed to incorporate major benefits for both these user groups…

In summary although the ‘Pinchpoint’ and ‘Better Buses’ schemes both look specifically to tackling issues relating to ‘motorised’ forms of transport on the Penistone Road corridor

Andrew Marwood – Sheffield City Council

Councillor Leigh Bramall commented that part of the problem in relation to the objections raised was around the way that the funding came through and what the Government required it to be used for. Improving bus times and viability was a crucial element to the scheme as, after the Parkway, this was the major traffic corridor into the City.

Councillor Leigh Bramall – Sheffield City Council

It isn’t the perfect cycle orientated scheme but it was never going to be-the funding restrictions saw to that for a start.

Councillor George Lindars-Hammond – Sheffield City Council

Funding for cycling in Sheffield facing 25% cuts

Last week the draft Local Transport Plan spending plans for 2015/16 were presented to the Highway Cabinet Member Decision Session. The headline is that the transport funding allocation is being slashed by 40% and cycle funding is dropping by 25%.

  • Current Year LTP allocation – £4.523m (cycling = £600,000) (20mph £413,000)
  • Next Year LTP allocation – £2.540m (cycling = £450,000) (20mph £400,000)

LTP funding has been diverted away to the Growth Plan Fund by central government. This fund builds large infrastructure projects designed to deliver economic growth (with no other considerations like health or environmental benefits).

An overview of the cycling projects for the past few years is below.

Project Funding 2013/14 (source) £491,000 Funding 2014/15 (source) £600,000 Funding 2015/16 (source) £450,000
Little Don Link £100,000 £50,000
Upper Don Valley £80,000 £80,000 £20,000
Blackburn Valley £85,000 £80,000 £20,000
Signs £10,000 £10,000 £40,000
Green Routes Network £20,000 £80,000 £120,000
Streets Ahead Opportunities £100,000 (later cut to £50,000) £250,000 £200,000
Connect2 £86,000
Lower Don Valley £14,000
City Centre Cycle Ring Route £100,000

*Note* This is Local transport plan spending only. Other grants such as LSTF, Better Buses, Pinch Points are not included.

Quesion: Why is funding for signage increasing 4 fold from £10,000 to £40,000 per year?

On a related note, this year sees the end of LSTF funding (and South Yorkshire seems to be  struggling to spend all the money). Next year we’ll see a new funding source from the Local Growth Fund – the ‘Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme’ which will spend £3.3m in 2015/16 and 13.0m in the following 2 years. This is a South Yorkshire funding stream, it’s not clear how that will be divided between the local authorities, or what it will be spent on.

If we look at this year’s Sheffield LSTF capital expenditure, £360,000 is for cycling out of £2,000,000, 18%. And Sheffield’s share of LSTF overall is perhaps, I’m guessing, 50% of the South Yorkshire spend. That will add £297,000 in 2015/16 and £585,000 each year for the following years in cycling capital expenditure.

The latest I can find on this is from Dick Proctor in a September 2014 report which states that “[4.9] The majority of these new 3 years funds are being unpacked and prioritised by the SY/SCR partnership, and further reports will be brought back to the Committee as appropriate”