Funding announced for walking and cycling routes

Three cyclists on a coastal path in Kent at sunset with the sea in the background
Active Travel England said the funds would help improve cycle paths and walking routes in Dover, Medway, Brighton and Lancing among others

More than £19m is being invested in improvements to "walking, wheeling and cycling" routes in the south-east of England, the government has announced.

The projects, funded by Active Travel England (ATE), aim to provide more safe and sustainable travel options, as well as reduce pollution.

Areas including Dover, Brighton, Medway, Lancing and Shoreham-by Sea are to benefit, along with Aldershot in Hampshire.

The government executive agency, which is sponsored by the Department for Transport, said it was the first time funding for specific authorities had been announced, adding that improvements would take place between 2024 and 2026.

ATE said a total of £101m was being invested in sustainable travel across England.

Improvements include:

  • In West Sussex, developing Lancing Beach Green segregated cycle path, as well as improving cycling and walking routes in Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea

  • Improving National Cycle Route 2 from Dover, in Kent, to St Austell, Cornwall

  • Improved walking and cycling options in Brighton, East Sussex

  • Widening and lighting work on the Medway Tow Path in Kent

  • In Hampshire, a new walking and cycling route between Gun Hill and Aldershot railway station

The agency said £1m would be allocated to develop walking, wheeling and cycling plans for 10 National Parks, including the South Downs.

A lush green national park with a wooden slat fence in the foreground and trees on rolling hills in the distance in the South Downs
£1m will be allocated to improve routes in 10 national parks, including the South Downs

The £19.25m funding package for south-east England is made up of:

  • £12.64m capital funding from the Active Travel Fund 4 Extension

  • £6.11m revenue from the Capability Fund

  • £500,000 for free e-cycle loans in Luton

Chris Boardman, ATE commissioner, said: "It’s so important this funding is in local hands to make the biggest impact.

"The whole community will benefit from these projects, which aim to deliver safer streets where children can travel to school independently and disabled people can travel confidently."

He added that the high-quality cycle routes could be used by "both grandparents and their grandkids".

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