The Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) have announced a new multi-million pound funding programme that will transform town centres and neighbourhoods into more attractive, accessible and people-friendly public spaces.
A new £85.9 million Liveable Neighbourhoods programme will give boroughs the opportunity to bid for funding for long-term schemes that encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport, in line with the Mayor’s Healthy Streets approach.
The programme will provide grants of between £1 million and £10 million for a wide range of community-supported projects, potentially including the creation of green spaces, new cycling infrastructure, redesigned junctions and the widening of walking routes to improve access to local shops, businesses and public transport. By supporting projects which have local support, the funding will particularly target schemes that are shown to improve boroughs and reduce car trips – improving health and air quality.
The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme is part of the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy, which last month detailed plans to create a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city by making London’s streets more welcoming and encouraging active travel and public transport.
Matt Winfield, Acting London Director of Sustrans, said: “The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme is an exciting opportunity for Londoners across our city to have cleaner, more attractive and healthier environments, with all the benefits that brings. Sustrans welcome this initiative as a significant step forward in creating the kind of communities that we know improve quality of life for all.”
Tompion Platt, Head of Policy, Living Streets said: “London is a successful city, but it can become a city with a far better quality of life. Moves have been made recently to make London more liveable, but its streets are still car-dominated. This discourages walking, causes poor air quality and undermines people’s health. The ambition to create healthier, more liveable neighbourhoods across London with walking at their heart is welcome step.”
Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said:“London’s boroughs work hard to transform neighbourhoods and provide additional facilities for local people and visitors to enjoy. We welcome this funding, which will help us create beautiful and – crucially – functional spaces where we can promote sustainable methods of transport, such as walking and cycling, and reduce the impact of pollution.”
Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “We want London to remain a world-class city by creating more attractive, accessible, people-friendly streets where everybody can enjoy spending time being physically active. Through Liveable Neighbourhoods we are keen to ensure that local communities are at the centre of plans to transform access to walking, cycling and public transport in their local area. With the public’s support we hope people will think twice about jumping in the car for short journeys, improving health and reducing air pollution – two key elements which we believe will make a difference to the lives of Londoners.”