Communities across the South West are set to benefit from £21.3million of Government funding for cycling and walking schemes, helping to boost local economies and transform the school run for thousands of children.

Areas including Devon, Somerset and Cornwall will benefit from a share of the latest round of the Active Travel Fund (ATF4) and the £23.1 million of investment will see 49 schemes delivered across the region with successful bids from authorities including Devon County Council and Cornwall Council

Alongside the environmental benefits, the plans will help ease congestion across cities, with people choosing more active choices which can benefit their mental and physical health and wellbeing, relieving pressure on the NHS.  

The country wide £200m package, announced in February of this year, will deliver a range of schemes across the country, including 121 miles of new cycle track, 77 miles of new paths and greenways and initiatives to make streets safer around 130 schools.

Active travel is also estimated to bring a £36.5 billion boost for the economy in a year through increased high street spending and better access to jobs, delivering on our priority to grow the economy. 

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper said:  'We want to make sure everyone across the country can choose cheaper, greener and healthier travel, while we continue to support our high streets and local businesses.   

'This £200 million pound investment will improve road safety, ease congestion across the South West and on public transport, and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of the millions of people choosing active travel.'  

National Active Travel commissioner Chris Boardman added:  'By giving millions of people the freedom of choice to walk, wheel or cycle for everyday trips, this funding will help us improve public health, tackle climate change and give hundreds of thousands of children the independence to travel safely under their own steam. 

'Now our focus is working with councils to get these schemes built swiftly. We’ll be working together to ensure the projects are well designed and effective, so that they bring maximum benefits to communities and help improve lives nationwide.'

Government funding has meant cycling across England has continued to thrive and is up 11% on pre-pandemic levels, increasing by more than 20% in the last ten years.