Nottingham City Council has successfully bid for more than £18m of external funding for cycling and bus improvements which will help towards Nottingham’s carbon neutral ambitions.
A segregated cycle corridor with improvements for pedestrians along St Ann’s Well Road, along with cycling and walking improvements along Lincoln Street in Basford and at Beechdale Road’s junction with the Ring Road, will be funded from Department for Transport (DfT) and Sustrans grants totaling £ 3.3m.
The St Ann’s Well Road route has been prioritized because it serves the north of the city where there is less cycling provision than other areas.
The Basford and Beechdale schemes complement investment through the Transforming Cities Fund in cycling improvements on the Ring Road and Beechdale Road, where schemes have been well received following public consultation and construction.
The improvements are part of wider efforts by the City Council to encourage ‘active travel’ like cycling and walking, for which it has secured funding from the Government for the third successive year.
The schemes are being delivered entirely from external funding, with no need for the council to use any of its own funds. With funding in place, work could start towards the end of the year.
The three schemes are all on corridors that are seen as a strategic priority to the cycle network.
Investments of this nature will complement high-profile investments into the cycling network that are taking place through previous Active Travel Fund bids and the Transforming Cities Fund in the city centre, on other main road corridors into the city centre, as well as the proposed new walking and cycling bridge over the Trent.
The City Council and Nottingham City Transport (NCT) have also accepted £15.2m of Dft funding from its Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas fund (ZEBRA). This will be used to provide 78 new electric buses, which would result in the full electrification of NCT’s single decker fleet – and support the company’s ambition to become the UK’s first carbon neutral bus operator.
Funding will be used to fully electrify NCT’s Trent Bridge depot – where the single deck fleet is based. The new buses will replace all of NCT’s existing single decker fleet and serve on 18 bus routes across the city and into the county. This will reduce carbon emissions by 3,800 tonnes of CO2e a year and improve air quality outside and on board the buses. It will also significantly enhance the passenger experience, with better ride quality and a relaxing on-board environment through a reduction in noise and vibration.
The funding announcement comes as the City Council in partnership with the County Council is preparing a Bus Service Improvement Plan outlining an ambitious infrastructure and network investment plan for Greater Nottingham over the next three years, backed by an indicative allocation of £11.4m from the DfT . The council will also be building on strong partnership with local bus operators through an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme for the next five years. This will set out standards of service, vehicle emissions and ticketing acceptance requirements, as well as detailing ways the council and operators will work together to improve the passenger experience against a range of key targets.
Councillor Audra Wynter, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for Transport said: “Nottingham is leading the way with green travel alternatives to the car, which is playing a big part in our carbon neutral ambitions. I’m delighted that we have secured more than £18m for improvements which will benefit cyclists and pedestrians on three key routes in the city, and allow NCT to enhance their already excellent green credentials with 78 new electric buses adding to the 29 electric buses and 120 bio gas buses already in our city.
“Delivering high quality sustainable green transport will enable Nottingham to become a resilient city that is able to cope and do its bit to help tackle climate change. By improving the liveability of local neighborhoods and creating healthier streets, that are co-designed with our communities, all residents will benefit from a smarter, cleaner, better connected and forward-looking transport system. All designed to make Nottingham a better place to live, work, play and invest.”
The funding is to be discussed at the council’s Executive Board meeting on Tuesday 21 June.