Councils which rip out cycle lanes or low-traffic neighbourhoods early without giving them an opportunity to work or without proof they’re failing could lose future central authority funding.
Transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris is formally writing to the leaders of all English authorities who have transport tasks.
His letter which is being sent out today (Friday) warns councils that:
“Premature removal of schemes carries implications for the management of the public money used in these schemes and for the government’s future funding relationship with the authorities responsible. The department will continue to assess authorities’ performance in delivering schemes and, following the precedent we have already set, those which have prematurely removed or weakened such schemes should expect to receive a reduced level of funding.”
Boris Johnson has already warned councils that he was severe about boosting energetic journey, saying:
“Trying to squeeze more cars and delivery vans on the same roads and hoping for the best is not going to work. I support councils, of all parties, which are trying to promote cycling and bus use, and if you are going to oppose these schemes, you must tell us what your alternative is.”
Conservative-run West Sussex council has already been told it can not apply for the following section of energetic journey funding after it eliminated a cycle lane in Shoreham-by-Sea. Similar lanes have been taken out by Labour-led Liverpool council, and by an alliance of Labour and Tory members in Brighton.
Under the federal government’s emergency energetic journey fund, councils put in a whole bunch of cycle lanes, college streets and low-traffic neighbourhoods, which search to filter residential streets in opposition to through-traffic by motor automobiles.
However, these have widely been met with usually noisy objections from many locals, residents and businesses – resulting in councils removing the schemes to avoid further complaints.