Positive steps taken to release withheld travel funding says combined authority mayor

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson has confirmed that positive steps have been taken to restore the area’s withheld travel funding.

By Ben Jones
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 11:04 am
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson.

Last week (July 30), it was revealed that the area was the only combined authority region to miss out entirely on any Capability Funding as part of the government’s active travel scheme.

It is believed that over £1million is currently being withheld from the authority after the Department for Transport (DfT) had not been sufficiently assured as to the authority’s commitment to active travel; particularly in the wake of the removal of the temporary pop-up cycle lane on Crescent Bridge.

Dr Johnson has now released an update in which states that he has written to the DfT and hopes that in the next two weeks the authority’s funding can be restored. The schemes this would then be assigned to are not known yet but Dr Johnson has said it will be those most in need across the county, which a working group has been tasked with identifying.

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The temporary cycle lane at Cresent Bridge.

Dr Johnson said: “Following the announcement on Friday 30th July that stated further assurances were required from Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority in relation to Active Travel schemes supported by government funding, I wrote to the Minister for Transport Chris Heaton-Harris expressing my support and commitment to active travel measures across the entire Cambridgeshire & Peterborough region.

“I also offered to meet the Minister and the Head of Behaviour Change within the Cycling and walking team at the Department for Transport. I am pleased with the positive response confirming that they will be in touch shortly to arrange that meeting - but equally encouraged to hear that contact will be made within the next two weeks to confirm that all assurances have been met by the Combined Authority and our indicative funding allocation can be confirmed via a s31 grant letter.

“My 3Cs approach of Compassion, Cooperation and Community are the foundation of everything the Combined Authority will develop and deliver. This approach is driven by my passion as a practising children’s doctor with public health improvements key to my vision and ambition for transport, housing, skills, education, retail, leisure, and economic growth.

“The Active Travel funding is fundamental to enable stimulus toward real change and I very much support it. I have tasked officers to engage with community groups, cycling groups, District Councils, and our Highways Authorities to establish a Mayoral led Active Travel Forum, where collectively we can identify the areas of need and where schemes will generate the most value across the entire Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region.

“From this group I am seeking nominations for an independent Cycling Tsar for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to enable us to manage key issues locally.

“Should you be interested to be involved please contact initially via [email protected]