This week the Department for Transport has announced a £3.9million package of measures to boost a range of different types of transport and safety on the streets. The package includes capital for environmentally-friendly transport, improved accessibility for disabled people and a campaign to increase the number of children who walk to school.
The Department of Transport has described the injection of cash as a way of improving journeys from ‘door to door’ and it wants to promote carpooling through car clubs and electrically powered bicycle pilot schemes.
From the whole pool of funds £1million will be used to create 15 car club projects around the country, giving members access to shared cars without the need to own one for work or other purposes. The scheme is designed to help cut down the number of car journey and give individuals a wide range of choices of transport when necessary.
A further £1million is to be invested in the Living Streets’ project which is committed to boost the number of children aged between 5 and 10 years old who walk to school regularly. The funding is designed to help boost the figure of children walking to school to 55% or more and the project involves increasing confidence and road safety awareness amongst children and a fun ‘travel tracker’ elements which encourages children to track their progress.
Another £1.2million has been committed to setting up 12 mobility centres across the UK to help meet the demand for support and advice for older and disabled drivers and passengers, with a hope that there will be an improvement to what’s currently available.
The final £700,000 has been used for the creation of a pilot scheme which will allow local authorities to bid for funds to create electric bike sharing schemes on a trial basis. The schemes may make the introduction of electric bicycles as a regular mode of transport on our streets.
This commitment to transport and sustainable transport methods is an interesting move by the Department of Transport as it highlights they are committed to creating safer roads as well as moving towards transport methods which are healthier and better for the environment. Improving the education of children on the roads will also go a long way towards reducing the number of injuries and deaths of young people on our roads and with the Department of Transport committing this kind of funding, there is hope that things may change considerably in the next few years.