More than £600,000 of Government funding awarded to fund cycling and walking schemes in West Northamptonshire

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The fund aims to give people the option of “greener, cheaper and healthier” travel

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has been awarded more than £600,000 to fund cycling and walking schemes.

Following consultation with local authorities, areas - including West Northamptonshire - will benefit from a share of the latest round of the Active Travel Fund (ATF4).

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Across the East Midlands, a total of £8.4million of Government funding has been allocated, with £673,314 set aside for WNC.

More cycling and walking schemes could soon be implemented across West Northamptonshire.More cycling and walking schemes could soon be implemented across West Northamptonshire.
More cycling and walking schemes could soon be implemented across West Northamptonshire.

The Department for Transport says, alongside the environmental benefits, the plans will help ease congestion across cities and towns, with people choosing more active choices which can benefit their mental and physical health and wellbeing, relieving pressure on the NHS.

It also says active travel is also estimated to bring a £36.5 billion boost for the economy in a year through increased high street spending and better access to jobs, delivering on our priority to grow the economy.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: “We want to make sure everyone across the country can choose cheaper, greener and healthier travel, while we continue to support our high streets and local businesses.

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“This £200 million pound investment will improve road safety, ease congestion across the East Midlands and on public transport, and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of the millions of people choosing active travel.”

National active travel commissioner Chris Boardman added: “By giving millions of people the freedom of choice to walk, wheel or cycle for everyday trips, this funding will help us improve public health, tackle climate change and give hundreds of thousands of children the independence to travel safely under their own steam.

“Now our focus is working with councils to get these schemes built swiftly. We’ll be working together to ensure the projects are well designed and effective, so that they bring maximum benefits to communities and help improve lives nationwide.”

Safety and accessibility is said to be at the heart of improvements and creation of walking and cycling routes, meaning safety for women and children walking to school will be improved and people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters will see street designs become even more inclusive.