Blackpool Council cash to get people cycling

The money will help  improve cycle paths
The money will help improve cycle paths
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Fylde coast residents are being encouraged to cycle and walk to work with the help of new Government funding.

Blackpool Council is to share £7.5m as part of a group bid for a slice of the £64m investment in 28 projects across England from 2017 to 2020.

Coun Fred Jackson is responsible for the town's roads

Coun Fred Jackson is responsible for the town's roads

Lancashire County Council, which covers Fylde and Wyre, will share £1.9m with neighbouring Blackburn with Darwen Council over the course of the three-year scheme.

Blackpool Council led a consortium of 10 authorities to bid for funding which will go to charity Living Streets to improve cycle paths in the resort and encourage young people to cycle more.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “This award is fantastic news for the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“Obesity is a significant public health problem in the town, which is why we need to tackle it not only on an individual level but also as a community.

Obesity is a significant public health problem in the town, which is why we need to tackle it not only on an individual level but also as a community

“This project particularly focuses on considering how to support people to become more physically active through every day activities such as travelling to school, education and work.

“In Blackpool, investment is planned to maintain and improve cycle paths, encourage more children to take up cycling as part of their daily routine and support young people as they start to travel independently.”

Transport minister Andrew Jones announced the funding will form part of a wider Government package of more than £300m to boost walking and cycling during the current parliament.

The funding will also target those looking to get back into work because access to transport often restricts where people can look for work.

Residents will also benefit from discount bus travel and bike loans.

Mr Jones said: “We are committed to improving how people travel and this investment will ensure that people’s journeys are cheaper, safer and better for the environment.

“It will help people to become more active and better transport planning will reduce congestion on our roads – particularly at peak times.

“This investment will also help people access jobs, education and training – specifically targeting those looking to get back into work, as part of our relentless drive to make this is a country that works for everyone.”

Blackpool Council placed a consortium bid with county councils in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, West Sussex, Hampshire, North Lincolnshire and Surrey, as well as city councils in Stoke on Trent and Leicester and the North East Combined Authority.

The Campaign for Better Transport said it ‘welcomed’ efforts to encourage walking and cycling.