An emergency Government grant of nearly £3m to fast-track walking and cycling lanes in Cambridgeshire will help defeat the coronavirus, Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has said.
The county will receive the £2.87m active travel grant as part of a £250m package which will be spent nationwide.
Mr Djanogly has welcomed the announcement that communities across Cambridgeshire will benefit from the cash boost which would make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
He said: “People across this country have played their part in helping to defeat coronavirus – with many playing their part by avoiding taking public transport where possible.
“It is vitally important that we continue these efforts. These new walking and cycle lanes will help to ensure we can control the virus by avoiding overcrowding on public transport as we start to reopen the city and town centres of Cambridgeshire, while keeping our roads free from becoming too congested.”
Mr Djanogly said: “This funding will not only help to control the spread of coronavirus – but will also ensure our local areas are greener in the years to come.”
He said the pandemic had seen unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the country and that the new plans would help encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping make sure the road, bus and rail networks were ready to respond to future increases in demand.
The funding, designed to boost greener, active transport, could include pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions and cycle and bus-only corridors.
Mr Djanogly said an updated cycling and walking investment strategy would be launched by the Prime Minister in the summer, with further measures to transform cycling and walking in a bid to deliver the government’s aims to double cycling and increase walking by 2025.
The national scheme includes £25 million to fund cycle repair vouchers to encourage people to get their old bikes out of the shed and resume cycling.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “While there is no change to the ‘stay at home’ message today, when the country does get back to work we need those people to stay on their bikes and be joined by many more.”