B&NES are determined to go ahead with plans for a proposed cycle and walking scheme connecting residential areas to educational establishments across the south of Bath – despite confirmation that an initial bid for funding was unsuccessful.
The Scholars’ Way scheme was part of an application for grant funding, submitted by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), to the government’s Active Travel Tranche 4 scheme.
Council staff had put forward a bid for £2.7 million funding to complete the first section, to provide a cycle route with pedestrian facilities between Claverton Down, Combe Down and Odd Down.
In total, WECA submitted 10 projects – seeking a total of £6.5 million – and was granted just under £3.5 million. One of the schemes which received funding will see B&NES receive an additional 20 on-street cycle hangars each accommodating six bicycles.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel said: “We believed this was a strong bid and of the usual high standard that has been successful previously, so this is obviously hugely disappointing news. Investment in cycling, walking and wheeling infrastructure is important if we are to tackle the climate emergency, reduce congestion and transport emissions and facilitate healthier lifestyles.
The council received strong positive feedback to the initial consultation last year and we have committed to progress this scheme together with the Bath Quays Links scheme. We will seek alternative sources of funding to help make this project happen.
“We also want to work with WECA to better understand the criteria it uses to prioritise applications under the active travel programme, before passing these on to government, so that we can ensure B&NES receives a fair share of funding in the future.
“That said, we are pleased to be receiving an additional 20 cycle hangars. Added to the 4 already in place and the 20 already planned for installation this year, it will enable 264 residents to store their bicycles securely.”
You can find information about our current active travel consultations and proposed schemes on the council website: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/active-travel
The Bath Quays Links scheme which will integrate the new bridge at the Bath Quays development into the existing cycling and walking networks, will go forward to consultation later this year.