Department for Transport
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Cities told transport strategies need to be bolder

Cities told transport strategies need to be bolder

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 02 March 2010

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan today issued a challenge to local authority and city leaders to be bold and innovative in developing transport strategies.

The minister was speaking at an event in London to launch the Urban Challenge Fund – a new funding scheme designed to support packages of measures that will deliver a wide range of transport improvements.

Cities will only be eligible to receive money from the fund if they can show their plans will: improve journey choice, tackle congestion, improve safety; lower carbon emissions; and promote healthier lifestyles through better air quality and more walking and cycling.

The Government firmly believes imaginatively planned, well delivered transport can deliver for all these agendas, not just one or two.

Sadiq Khan said:

“The last decade of record investment has delivered thousands of infrastructure improvements, both big and small, in our towns and cities up and down the country. But we can do more.

“Given the environmental and financial challenges we face, it is more important than ever that urban transport planning is embedded in broader economic and spatial planning. That sounds obvious, but the extent to which urban authorities have been successful in doing this varies tremendously.

“The Urban Challenge Fund is designed to support cities that want to deliver economic, health and environmental improvements at the same time, and are prepared to take the bold decisions needed to make that happen. This new fund will help to create a cleaner, safer and more prosperous future for generations to come.”

The new fund will replace the Congestion Transport Innovation Fund which was established to support towns and cities in tackling congestion through local road pricing schemes. The Urban Challenge Fund will support wider packages of measures that not only tackle congestion but offer greater choice for transport users, improve safety, reduce air pollutants and carbon emissions and improve the living environment. This new approach will stimulate greater innovation amongst local authorities and appeal to a broader range of cities.

The proposals were outlined in a discussion paper published today which local authorities and stakeholders will be invited to comment on. Cities and authorities will be invited to submit proposals on the basis of a published set of criteria after the next spending review.

Notes to Editors

1. The Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit report on urban transport and DfT response “The Future of Urban Transport” published in November 2009 identified that initiatives geared to tackling simultaneously the various transport challenges faced by urban areas would better support economic growth and deliver improvements to health and the urban environment.

2. The Urban Challenge Fund will help urban areas to improve the environment and health of their residents and secure best returns from transport investment. To be eligible, authorities would need to offer clear strategies that incorporate ambitious targets for a wider range of outcomes than just congestion, together with the local leadership and tight governance needed to make this a reality.

3. These strategies will build on the strategies and implementation plans now being developed for the next round of Local Transport Plans (LTPs) due in April 2011. The new Fund will be designed to realise a step change in the delivery of improvements over and above that identified in LTPs.

4. The underlying aim of the new Fund is to deliver clear benefits in terms of:

- enhanced mobility through offering people wider choices for their journeys;

- reduced congestion and increased journey time reliability;

- better health as a result of improved safety and much greater levels of walking and cycling;

- streets and public spaces which are enjoyable places to be, where exposure to harmful emissions is reduced and where quality of life is transformed

- improved safety; and

- reduced level of carbon emission from transport.

5. Funding for the Urban Challenge Fund will be top-sliced from the Department’s overall funding allocation following conclusion of the next Comprehensive Spending Review.

6. The new fund will incorporate the sustainable travel programme for cities ensuring that these measures are an essential component of the transport tool kit for urban areas.

Press Enquires: 020 7944 3066 Out of Hours: 020 7944 4292 Public Enquiries: 0300 330 3000 Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

Contacts:

Local Transport
Phone: 020 7944 3066
nds.dft@coi.gsi.gov.uk

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