Government funding of £11.5 million has been approved for green transport schemes in Tyne and Wear, Middlesborough, Harrogate and Whitby. The four schemes will cut congestion and boost the region’s economy. They will also make walking, cycling and public transport much more attractive propositions.
Delays on urban roads currently cost the UK economy roughly £11 billion a year. Reducing congestion improves the air quality as there is a reduction in the fumes from stationary vehicles. Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said that by funding these schemes life will be improved for people in the North East.
£3.7 million will go towards a park and ride scheme in Whitby with a Hopper bus service and complimentary parking controls. Whitby councilors welcomed this, saying that lack of parking and congestion had affected the town’s tourist industry. With this new scheme they are hoping it will attract visitors back to the town.
Harrogate will receive a grant of £1.6 million to ease congestion on one of the area’s main routes. This is the A661 just outside the Yorkshire Showground. Bus lanes, new traffic signals and pedestrian and cycling access will all be put in here to help solve the problems. The Council highways chief, Gareth Dadd, said that he is ‘absolutely delighted’ for the Harrogate and Whitby communities.
A grant of £1.2 million will go to Middlesborough for a scheme to help ease congestion and also give better access to some of the main employment areas. This will be done by improving public transport links and also creating more cycling access. A further £800,000 will go to this scheme, provided by council and partner organisations.