The government has announced that Torbay is one of the areas to successfully apply for funding for a share of its Active Travel Fund 4.

The grant will deliver a new crossing at Shiphay Lane, which is part of the Hospital and Towns Trail aspect of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) which aims to enable people to choose to walk, cycle and wheel more for their journeys. It is an important element of helping to create greater choice of transport in Torbay with benefits for improving local people’s health and wellbeing, reducing congestion and helping to tackle climate change.

Disappointingly, other supporting schemes that Torbay Council applied for – a ramp to improve access at Rainbow Drive and funds for developing further designs for the wider network – have not been awarded funding.

The plans were developed in consultation with local residents and Torbay Council understands the importance of delivering all aspects and will now explore other potential funding streams to ensure the rest of the project can be completed.

Following a period of evidence gathering, plan preparation with expert advice and stakeholder engagement, the LCWIP was consulted on with local residents in early 2021. More than 700 residents responded to the consultation, with over 70% in favour of the proposals.

The LCWIP is a wider plan for creating a fuller active travel network across Torbay that aims to ensure local people have better walking, cycling and wheeling options. It is an important part of creating the conditions in Torbay to provide greater accessibility, improved health, cleaner air and safer streets.

Leader of Torbay Council David Thomas said: “We are delighted that Torbay has been successful in applying for a share of national funding from the government’s latest tranche of the Active Travel Fund and this means that work can start on delivering safer roads for all users in that area, and provide the connection across Shiphay Lane to make walking, cycling and wheeling a real choice for residents in the area.

“However, we know from consultation with the local community that we also need a ramp and other accessibility improvements. We are disappointed not to have been given the funding and officers will meet with Government to discuss other opportunities. Ultimately, we want the Hospital Trail delivered in full.”

You can read the national announcement on the government website here.

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