Walking and cycling facilities are set to be improved throughout Stoke-on-Trent thanks to Government funding.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been awarded more than £600,000 from the Government to improve walking and cycling facilities in the city.

The cash from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund will improve infrastructure and help regenerate local economies after the coronavirus outbreak. It is also aimed at getting more people to enjoy the benefits active travel has on physical and mental health. Following the confirmation of the funding, which totals £630,750, the city council is now proposing to carry out two schemes:

Shelton New Road

Linking with a scheme being progressed by Staffordshire County Council, the city council aims to provide a cycle route, providing segregated cycle lanes where possible, and traffic management measures, from Snow Hill to the Hartshill Road boundary with Newcastle-under-Lyme.

College Road

A scheme is being considered that will remove through traffic, other than access for residents and businesses. Reducing traffic levels on College Road would provide a more user-friendly experience for cyclists and pedestrians. This would be the pre-cursor to a significant improvement plan for the area through the Transforming Cities Fund programme, which was confirmed by the Department for Transport earlier this month.

Scheme designs are now being drawn up to ensure plans for both projects will be available for public consultation in early 2021. A report will go to cabinet in January seeking approval to deliver the improvements. Depending on final costs of the schemes, it is also aimed to provide a cycle hire facility at both Stoke-on-Trent railway station and in the city centre.

Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for infrastructure, regeneration and heritage, said: “A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes while we waited to receive the final funding offer from Government. Now we have that confirmation, we can start moving ahead with the planning and delivery of these projects. Both will be subject to a public consultation, which is one of the requirements of the funding we have received. We also have to deliver the projects within timescales set by the Department for Transport, so the proposals we put forward have to be realistic and achievable. Given the polycentric nature of Stoke-on-Trent and how it is flat in some places and quite ‘hilly’ in others, we’ve tried to focus on schemes that support safe, inclusive and sustainable travel that we can deliver quickly. Alongside the fantastic news we received from Government last week that our £36 million Transforming Cities Fund bid has been given the go-ahead, this additional funding is very welcome as we improve the city’s transport network, revolutionise how residents get around, and ensure we build back better from coronavirus.”

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