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More people will be able to cycle and walk to work thanks to new funding awarded to Isle of Wight Council.

The £1.35m of funding for the Isle of Wight has been awarded as part of £64 million of Government investment shared across 28 projects in England over 3 years from 2017 to 2020.

The funding will enable the Council to continue delivering an ambitious programme of travel behaviour change on the Island through proven partnerships with the education, business and tourism sectors, saving over 3000 tonnes of carbon; removing over 20m private car kms, and generating a net increase of 1.17m walking and 832k cycling trips over the three-year implementation period.

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The Council’s will use the funding to:

  • work with the tourism industry to grow the value of the visitor economy, and embed active travel into visitor experiences
  • normalise walking and cycling to work and transform access to employment opportunities for jobseekers and apprentices
  • improve the health and wellbeing of young people and their families through education and community engagement

Executive member for transport and infrastructure, Councillor Ian Ward, said:

“This is excellent news for the Island and will enable us to continue to build on our partnership work to deliver travel behaviour change on the Island.”

“It is important to note that this external funding has been secured competitively, and further underlines our commitment to encouraging a network of sustainable travel options for all, reducing our carbon footprint and improving the health and wellbeing of Island residents.”

Over the next 3 years, the Isle of Wight Council Access Fund for Sustainable Travel programme will include:

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  • An extension of a comprehensive travel behaviour change programme delivered to schools in partnership with Sustrans, which seeks to continue to increase the proportion of young people cycling, walking and scooting to and from school. Between April 2015 and March 2016, Sustrans officers delivered 496 activities across 48 schools and had pupil 39,969 pupil attendances at activities. The proportion of children traveling actively to and from school increased proportionally by 7.9% from 50.4 to 54.2 percent of pupils during 2015/16
  • Supporting access to sustainable transport, support and training for Island jobseekers and apprentices
  • Continuing to define the Isle of Wight as the premier destination for walking and cycling experiences in partnership with Visit Isle of Wight; through inspiring our visitors to build active travel into everyday journeys

James Cleeton, Director for Sustrans South said:

“This investment in Isle of Wight is extremely welcome. It will help to improve access to jobs, skills, education and training and is a clear sign that the local government recognises the benefits of cycling and walking to help create healthier, cleaner places in which to live and work.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Isle of Wight Council as part of our work across the country to create a step-change in numbers of people cycling and walking to work and by putting in place solutions that will improve lives, transform places and connect communities.”

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