Recently this work has been put to good use. Bristol applied, with the neighbouring council areas, to the national Local Sustainable Transport Fund (established by Lib Dem Minister, Norman Baker) to fund major works in this sort of area. We’ve recently had two bits of good news:
- Firstly, we have been awarded £5m to start work on projects this year, including improving Gloucester Road for pedestrians.
- Secondly, we have been given permission to apply for up to £25m of funding starting from 2012 – we need to prepare our bid for this December and they will tell us in July whether or not we have the money. We're only one of eight areas to get such an invite, so the chances of success are strong.
I will also be looking for projects which build on the work that we’ve done on developing a Walking Strategy. All the research suggests that money spent on walking provides some of the best ‘bangs for your bucks’ of any traffic works, getting people out of cars and finding better and healthier ways of getting around.
As always, happy to hear about other ideas for local (rail sadly isn't included) sustainable transport options that I can feed into the bid-drafting process. As with all things, there is no guarantee of landing the money, but the theory is that you are only invited to bid if you’re in with a good chance of getting it. £25m is a lot of money and it could make a very positive impact on the back of the recent history of transport improvements.