To consider the key impacts of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Cycling and Walking to Work Fund (CWWF) programme and to highlight the key issues identified for consideration in any future funding for programmes.
The Committee considered a report from John Smith, the Programme Development Officer that highlighted the key issues identified for consideration in any future funding programmes for the cycling and walking to work funding programme.
Members enquired about the following: -
· The need to recognise the big barriers are road traffic and the dangers by taking the tough measures for cyclists to get from A to B safely.
· How can the £40,000 for Walrus cards encourage walking and cycling for the programme.
· There seems to be a lack of co-ordination and communication between the 21 projects with just the £1m, how will it be co-ordinated effectively.
· Climate emergency being declared across the City Region so the projects to support cycling and walking is great to reduce the carbon footprint and improve healthy lifestyles and get value for money.
· There are references to the obvious health benefits to walking and cycling, but is any research being done related to the long term benefits.
· Need to be speaking to all the groups and needs to be integrated into what is on offer around the City Region.
· Encouraging people to get into alternative modes of transport, to reduce pollutants in the air, e.g. electric bikes and scooters etc. which could contribute to the wider impact.
· It is so much easier to get a bike on a train and on some routes it is easier to take a bus, but on other routes where you can use a bus to get around, but need to take a bus to get there, it is difficult to get bikes on the buses, it is something that could be looked into.
John Smith informed the Committee that the DfT have stated that the criteria for using the funding was specifically to cycling and walking. People have incorporated walking and cycling into their daily travel to get to their buses and trains and not driving to those sites as previously happened. In relation to the 21 projects, there are crossovers, so it is really about 8-9 main projects. However, it is noted that there is a lack of resource in the City Region and with our neighbouring partners in terms of a dedicated officer, but the evaluation highlights about the lack of central co-ordination which could assist future funding. The Liverpool City Region is involved in a project with Sustrans called Bike Life, which will address some of the issues raised relating to health benefits and a paper will be going to the Combined Authority be published in early March 2020, Government will soon be publishing a paper relating to Prevention Strategy which provides a link between preventable diseases and how it can be reduced and cycling and walking.
The Chair, Councillor Robinson stated that work is currently being done in the City Region to address the co-ordination issues and the resources is a small part of it, as there are other budget requirements, but 55km walking infrastructure being designed and delivered is a big step that can be delivered across the City Region network.
RESOLVED that the Transport Committee notes the contents of the report.