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Funding boost for cycling and walking in Faversham

Published Monday 15 February, 2021
Last updated on Monday 15 February, 2021

Swale Borough Council has agreed to make funding available to help boost cycling and walking in Faversham.

The funding will be used to develop a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) in partnership with Faversham Town Council.

The plan will identify what infrastructure improvements are needed to make it easier for residents to walk and cycle, and how much they would cost to implement. This would promote active ways of travelling, particularly cycling and walking, and will reduce congestion and promote better health.

The plan will inform both the Local Plan and Faversham Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan, and will help the agencies responsible for planning, roads and pathways make future investment decisions.

It will also help when bidding for grant funding and supports the council’s aim of increasing the number of walking and cycling journeys to tackle climate change.

The Faversham LCWIP will be implemented by the final Swale Local Plan and the Faversham Neighbourhood Plan, which goes out for public consultation later this year.

Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for planning at the council, said:

“More and more people are choosing to leave the car at home and want to walk or cycle instead.

“This doesn’t just help them stay fit and healthy, but reduces congestion and pollution for everybody.

“Unfortunately, the lack of appropriate infrastructure doesn’t always make this easy for people, so we will use this funding to identify and prioritise where improvements can be made.

“We’ve allocated up to £30,000 from our special projects fund to develop the plan, and we’ll know more about how much the infrastructure could cost once we have the plan in place.

“The LCWIP can be used to bid for funding for schemes from organisations like Kent County Council and central Government, and can form the basis for discussions with developers to help fund the improvements needed.”

Cllr Julian Saunders, cabinet member for environment, said:

“Reducing the number of journeys made by car, and increasing those made on foot and by bike, is essential for us to improve air quality and tackle congestion.

“This project will put us in a stronger position to attract much-needed funding from developers and other external organisations.

“The infrastructure improvements we’ll be looking at, will encourage residents to make more everyday journeys without using the car.”