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Greater Manchester set for £2.5 million sustainable travel boost

25/05/2016

Residents are set to benefit from £2.5 million of funding which will improve access to jobs and education across Greater Manchester

On behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has successfully secured the country’s equal highest funding award from the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) Sustainable Travel Transition Fund following a national competition.

The award, representing 12% of the £20.6m being given by the DfT for 23 sustainable travel initiatives across England, will see a range of schemes being delivered to encourage people to consider sustainable and active travel choices, particularly for journeys to work.

During the next 12 months, more than 12,000 free and discounted bus and tram tickets will be made available to jobseekers, as well as free recycled bikes and accessories through the Bike Back to Work scheme. Workplace experience in the transport sector will also be provided as part of the Train, Learn, Drive, Earn project.

In support of Greater Manchester’s Cycle City programme, more than 3,000 adult cycle training places will be provided to equip new and existing cyclists with the skills and confidence to cycle more frequently, as well as 100 professional driver training sessions to increase cycle awareness.

Schools, colleges and workplaces will also be able to benefit from support to promote walking and cycling, as well as grants to improve cycle facilities for students and employees.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Tony Lloyd, said: "In Greater Manchester our ambition is to have a world-class transport system that is both accessible and affordable to our citizens. This funding will help us to meet our ambitions.

"I'm particularly encouraged that this funding will be targeted at school pupils and students to boost the numbers of young people walking and cycling in Greater Manchester.”

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, commented: “This is great news that will allow us to build upon the fantastic work already under way to promote sustainable and active travel choices in Greater Manchester.

“Getting more people cycling and walking, and helping people back in to work, are key priorities for us and this funding will bring significant benefits to our region.”

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “Green transport cuts congestion and improves air quality. It also offers the cheapest and healthiest way for people to access jobs and education.

“Greater Manchester’s green travel scheme will make a real difference for residents and help provide better air quality for everyone. Our £21 million national funding shows we are committed to improving lives through investment in sustainable transport.”

The £2.5 million funding for Greater Manchester aims to get 1,600 more people regularly making journeys by bicycle, encourage an extra 1,300 passengers a day to use public transport, and generate more than £1.7 million of health benefits.