The future of a multi-million pound grant aimed at boosting cycling in the New Forest has been decided, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has announced.
The New Forest National Parks Authority (NPA) originally won a grant of over £3.6 million for an ambitious project to encourage cycling as part of the Department for Transport’s Cycling Ambition Grant.
But recently, the NPA informed the department it did not plan to deliver a key part of their proposals – a £2 million scheme family cycle hire scheme.
Following detailed discussions between the Department for Transport and the New Forest project team on the future the programme, the department has decided the New Forest will now receive just over £2 million of funding for the other elements of its plan that are being delivered, which include upgrades for existing off-road cycle tracks and improvements to off-road cycle routes providing better links to the park.
But for the £1.575 million not spent by the New Forest NPA, the department will now explore options to reallocate the funding to other cycling projects.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:
Cycling is good for health and for the environment at we have committed £374 million to cycling between 2011 and 2015.
We hope that the decision announced today will reinvigorate the New Forest programme and help the project encourage cycling.
We must do all we can to make sure our investment in cycling infrastructure supports schemes that matter to people and make a difference. That is why we have taken the decision to reallocate this money to other schemes.
More details on the department’s Cycling Ambition Grant has been published on GOV.UK.