Mayor to meet with Transport Minister over Peterborough’s withheld travel funding

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor Nik Johnson is to meet with the Minister of State for Transport over the county’s withheld active-travel funding.

By Ben Jones
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 4:00 pm
Cresent Bridge where the cycle lane has been removed.
Cresent Bridge where the cycle lane has been removed.

In July, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was the only combined authority region not to receive a penny of Capability Funding from central government.

The Department of Transport (DfT) said that it required assurances from the authority over its commitment to active travel, with one of the reasons thought to be concern about the cessation of the pop-up cycle lane on Crescent Bridge in the city.

The decision to withdraw the temporary lane has drawn considerable criticism from several local councillors and Peterborough’s Cycle Forum. Yet, Peterborough City Council insisted that the lane was underused.

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Dr Johnson has since written a letter to Chris Heaton Harris, Minister of State for Transport and began a search for an independent “Cycling Tsar” to help manage issues locally.

The Combined Authority has also submitted an application for the third tranche of funding and it is believed that this application and the withheld funding from the second tranche will be discussed in the meeting on Wednesday (September 22).

The Combined Authority is due to hold an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday (September 27) where the issue will be discussed further.

The agenda for that meeting states: “The Combined Authority are positively progressing active travel as a dedicated activity within the transport portfolio with Public Health a major driver for change.

“As a practicing Children’s Doctor the Mayor is passionate about creating an Active Travel Forum and Active Travel Tsar, the principles for both currently being developed prior to invitations to the forum being sent and a recruitment process undertaken for the Tsar, to focus on improvements that will enable and encourage more people to walk and cycle both in their daily educational and working commutes but also as an increasing part of their leisure time.”