North East awarded £17.9m in funding for active travel

The North East has received £17.9m in funding from the Active Travel Fund to invest in the region’s walking and cycling network – the largest allocation in the country.

The multi-million pound funding boost will create new enhanced cycling and walking infrastructure, making it easier and safer for more people across the region to choose active, low carbon transport options when they are able to.

A total of nine schemes have been awarded funding across Newcastle, North Tyneside, Sunderland and Northumberland. Delivery of these schemes aligns with the objectives of the North East Transport Plan, which was adopted region-wide in 2021.

“I’m thrilled that the North East has been awarded £17.9m in funding to enhance our walking and cycling network.

“This is great news for local people as it will help many people get out and about by foot or by bike, enjoying the health and well-being benefits that come with active travel.

“We are committed as a region to providing safe and appealing transport choices as defined in the North East Transport Plan, and an attractive walking and cycling network is a huge part of that.

“These nine schemes will go a long way to transform the daily travel choices available for many local people and I’m pleased that this is another positive step towards a green transport revolution for the North East.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee

Of the nine schemes awarded funding in the North East, four were funded in Newcastle (£7,700,000), one in North Tyneside (£3,500,000), two in Northumberland (£3,462,244) and two in Sunderland (£3,267,000).

“We are delighted to have secured this funding after a great deal of hard work and planning, and a bid that received high praise from Active Travel England.

“The new route will be a scheme of the highest quality, it will have wide-ranging benefits for North Tyneside and will support people to access cheap, healthy, zero emission travel, while providing a boost to air quality and people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“The coast is one of our greatest and more cherished assets and we believe this scheme will make it safer and more attractive to access our coast, while helping to ease congestion and improve the air quality. It will better connect our coastal communities and link the seafront with planned improvements in North Shields as part of the regeneration programme there.

“We are very excited about the way this scheme is taking shape and we will seek local people’s views again when the design work is complete.”

Cllr Sandra Graham, Cabinet Member for the Environment at North Tyneside Council

“We’re absolutely delighted that our schemes in Ashington and Blyth have been given the green light.

“Both towns are undergoing significant regeneration and encouraging active travel with dedicated cycling and walking routes form a key part of these schemes.

“The Ashington route forms a corridor that will link the town centre to existing sites, the new Northumberland Line station, and existing infrastructure in North Seaton with connectivity with national and local cycle routes.

“The Blyth route will connect the town centre to South Beach to make a comprehensive, direct and high-quality route across the town.

“Once complete we’re confident both these routes will make cycling in the area even more attractive to residents, visitors and commuters.”

Cllr John Riddle, Chair of the Northumberland County Council’s Walking and Cycling Board

“We are delighted to have secured this funding from the third tranche of the Active Travel Fund. This funding will help to deliver a set of infrastructure schemes at Dame Dorothy Street and Pallion New Road that have a long-term impact on active travel within key corridors and the city centre, boosting the mode split for active travel and helping manage demand for private cars.

“The main aim of these projects is to reallocate existing road space to allow for full segregation between pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles to improve and create sustainable transport links in and around the city. The schemes will also improve the road safety for all users.

“The new schemes will improve connectivity between existing routes and the scheme funded from an earlier round of funding due to start delivery this year. These active travel schemes will help the council meet its carbon reduction ambitions as part of the Low Carbon Action Plan and ultimately delivering the City Plan to become a Healthy, Dynamic and Smart city by 2030.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council

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