Nine areas suffering with transport congestion and in need of regeneration are going to be able to bid for a share of £29m over the next three years.

The scheme is an expansion of the Department for Transport’s three sustainable travels towns that have, over the last five years, cut car use by up to 9%, increased walking by up to 14% and pushed up cycling rates by at least 12%, according to the government.

The nine areas are Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside, Bristol, Nottingham and Leicester.

The successful bidders we expect the chosen areas will have to provide a significant financial contribution and to build up an evidence to show sustainable travel measures are a ‘viable and attractive option’ for the future.

Announcing the potential funding Paul Clark, transport minister, said: “Giving people a real alternative to the car not only reduces congestion and carbon emissions, but also increases the amount of exercise they take.

“The opportunity to become England’s first sustainable travel city will be a chance to see these benefits on a much larger scale and I look forward to seeing the bids coming in.”

The chosen city will introduce new sustainable transport plans such as work or school travel plans, cycle training, online journey planning and dedicated bus routes to name but a few.

Luke Walsh

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