Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid
In the last Newsletter we reported that the County Council’s bid to the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) was in danger of being entirely ‘bustitution’ – i.e. a bid seeking funds to replace cuts to bus services. We warned that this would wipe out the prospects for funding of cycling schemes and, moreover, would probably fail as a bid anyway. The LSTF isn’t about replacing cuts: it’s about funding locally- specific and innovative transport solutions.
Thanks to the hard work of a number of County Council officers, and thanks partly to our Cycling Vision 2016 document, a more balanced bid has been submitted. You can read the bid at www.camcycle.org.uk/jumpto/lstf. Many of the objectives and schemes of the bid are in line with Cycling Vision 2016. Therefore, we have written a letter of support and are looking forward to continued partnership work with the County Council to see these schemes delivered.
It proposes funding of £2.1m of cycling schemes out of a total bid of £5m. This would be spread over around four years. However, this will additionally unlock up to £7m of developer funding. It could mean that schemes like the Chisholm Trail – our proposal for a major cycleway joining the Science Park to Addenbrookes – could finally start to move forward.
Although this level of funding is certainly small compared to places like the Netherlands, it is what is available and it represents – if the bid succeeds – a much more positive outcome than was expected given the current cuts to Local Authority budgets.
We await with fingers crossed the government’s decision on Cambridgeshire’s bid.
Cycling Vision 2016
We hope that many members will have read this major new publication on our website. Do contact us if you would like a paper copy. We have sent copies to all City and County Councillors in the Cambridge area.
We asked candidates about CV2016 in our recent election survey. There was considerable agreement with it, though it remains to be seen whether its more controversial elements that would require serious reallocation of road space towards cycling would, when politics come into play, really see the same level of support.
We are meeting with each of the political parties to discuss the document further and we’ll update members on progress with its various elements.
Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator