Zero rating hits Worcestershire's active travel funding - The Droitwich Standard

Zero rating hits Worcestershire's active travel funding

Droitwich Editorial 8th Oct, 2022   0

WORCESTERSHIRE County Council has received a ‘zero rating’ from Active Travel England, which has cut the county from receiving additional funding for cycling and walking routes.

Active Travel England is a Government inspectorate and funding body responsible for making walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice for everyone to get around by allocating funds to councils.

A rating of zero means an area has no local leadership or support for active travel, no plans in place, and only delivers lower complexity schemes.

Alex Knudsen, Mid Worcestershire Labour Party Chairman, said: “The ‘zero rating’ means that the Council has failed to meet even the minimum levels of local leadership and/or delivery track record that is required to receive any funding.

“This level of competence is unacceptable, and we are left wondering how the Conservative-led County Council is managing our other local services.

“The people of Mid Worcestershire deserve better, and now is the time for greater transparency.”

In a self-assessment, the County Council rated themselves a level 1 for their performance on active travel due to some of the improvements they have said to have made.

Some of the County Councils’ improvements have been the A38 Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme (BREP), Worcester Canal Towpath improvements and other small improvements to cycle paths across the county.

Councillor Mike Rouse, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: “As a County Council, we spend more than £20m per year on active travel measures.

“It is disappointing that Active Travel England decided to override our fair and reasonable Level 1 and put us at Level 0 instead, potentially cutting us off from funding opportunities.

“I have written to the new Secretary of State at the Department for Transport to voice my concern at this assessment.

“I have invited her to come to Worcestershire to hear our plans and see the difference increased government funding could make to the county.”

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