South Yorkshire to receive £2.5m investment for cycling and walking

The Government has announced South Yorkshire will receive an extra £2.5 million to spend on cycling and walking in the coming financial year.

As a result, children and adults in the area are set to benefit from active travel improvements such as cycle training, e-Bike loans and walking groups for people with disabilities.

The announcement came on the same day the Government pledged to fund cycle training for every child in England under the Bikeability training scheme.

In Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, the towns’ Active Travel Hubs will continue to operate and expand their offering, providing bike loans, free bike maintenance and repair, and information for cyclists and walkers.

Meanwhile in Sheffield, free cycle training will be offered to people of all ages, alongside free bike loans, maintenance and repair. Travel training will also be provided for adults with learning disabilities to empower them to travel independently.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “There are some fantastic active travel programmes across South Yorkshire and this money will secure their future. Thousands of children and adults will now be able to get on their bikes or walk more, which has benefits for both physical and mental health, as well as improving air quality.

“But there is still more to be done,” he continued. “We need more investment in genuinely safe cycling infrastructure, to enable children and adults to feel confident when on our roads. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, investment in walking and cycling is vital in removing polluting vehicles off the roads, especially in our towns and cities.”

Sheffield City Region has submitted a £220 million Transforming Cities bid to Government, half of which is earmarked for walking and cycling schemes, which will form the first part of the area’s 2040 Active Travel Network once complete.

Dame Sarah Storey was appointed Active Travel Commissioner for the Sheffield City Region in April 2019. She said of the funding: “The Government still needs to invest in infrastructure, without safe routes for cycling, people will still choose to drive, even for short journeys. It is vital we work to reduce the number of vehicles making short journeys so we can positively impact congestion and improve air quality.

“My vision for South Yorkshire;s 2040 Active Travel Network will require billions of pounds of investment in our region, I hope today’s announcement is an indication that our Government is willing to invest in cycling and walking.”

Mayor Jarvis and Dame Storey will reveal their vision for South Yorkshire’s 2040 Active Travel Network later this year.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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