ICE East Midlands welcomes the announcement of Department for Transport funding which will deliver more than £14 million in improvements to sustainable transport in the region.
Transport Minister Norman Baker, who attended the ICE East Midlands conference Transportation services: new opportunities and the challenges of effective delivery in March 2011, made the announcement yesterday which allocates:
- £10.4 million to Nottingham City Council to improve transport links and reduce carbon emissions in the city
- £4 million to Rutland County Council to improve public transport in the county.
The funding is from the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which has allocated £266 million to support transport schemes nationally and encourage employment and economic growth.
Schemes set to benefit in Nottingham include: improving Nottingham’s existing Citycard to promote use of trains, trams and buses in the city, community travel services to encourage more walking, cycling and public transport, support packages to encourage carbon saving by businesses and more electric buses and electric vehicle charging points.
Rutland’s schemes include: a new transport hub at Oakham Railway Station, an employment shuttle bus for job seekers and a tourism bus connecting Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland Water together with new cycle infrastructure.
In its State of the Nation report into the region’s infrastructure in 2010, ICE called for measures to reduce congestion and reduce CO2 emissions.
ICE East Midlands cited the improvement of the public transport network in Nottingham through the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) line 1 between Hucknall/Phoenix Park and the city as a good demonstration of assisting behaviour change in making travel choices to reduce CO2.
In its Low Carbon Trajectory Building a Sustainable Future, published in 2011, ICE also identified congested roads as a major cause in CO2 emissions, calling on highways authorities to reduce congestion by improving public transport and road infrastructure. The announcement of the NET lines 2 and 3 and the widening of the A453 announced in the National Infrastructure Plan also supports this plan.
In welcoming the funding announced yesterday, ICE East Midlands also recognises further investment in infrastructure is required and hopes that further funding may be forthcoming, especially to improve public transport in rural areas to reduce over-reliance on cars.
John Parry, Chairman of the ICE East Midlands Transport Professional Interest Network commented: “ICE East Midlands welcomes the announcement of the award of £14 million towards East Midland sustainable transport initiatives led by Nottingham City Council and Rutland County Council.
“Over the past decade Nottingham City Council has gained a national reputation for its integrated transportation policies based on sustainable transport systems such as Nottingham’s tram network and good bus service provision.
“The funding award announced by Norman Baker MP has clearly recognised these initiatives, long advocated by the ICE in recommendations to government: primarily to create an environment in which initiatives to mitigate the life-cycle carbon impacts of economic pressures, congestion and climate change are implemented.”
“This Sustainable Transport funding will deliver wider social and economic benefits for many travellers in the East Midlands but we must call on government to continue to invest in our infrastructure across the region.”