The Mayor of London and Transport for London have announced a new £80m funding programme that aims to transform town centres and neighbourhoods into more attractive, accessible and people-friendly public spaces.
The new £85.9 million Liveable Neighbourhoods programme will give boroughs the opportunity to bid for funding for long-term schemes that encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport, in line with the Mayor’s Healthy Streets approach.
The programme will provide grants of between £1 million and £10 million for a wide range of community-supported projects, potentially including the creation of green spaces, new cycling infrastructure, redesigned junctions and the widening of walking routes to improve access to local shops, businesses and public transport. By supporting projects which have local support, the funding will particularly target schemes that are shown to improve boroughs and reduce car trips – improving health and air quality.
The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme is a key part of the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy, which last month detailed plans to create a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city by making London’s streets more welcoming and encouraging active travel and public transport.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’ve set out bold plans to transform the way Londoners move around our city to improve our health, air quality and future prosperity. London’s boroughs are key partners in delivering this vision and through this new funding we can make a real difference by supporting the projects that local people want to see. This will ensure that the improvements really work for our local communities, transforming our town centres and successfully encouraging many more Londoners to walk, cycle or use public transport for the good of their health and our environment.”
Tompion Platt, Head of Policy, Living Streets said: “London is a successful city, but it can become a city with a far better quality of life. Moves have been made recently to make London more liveable, but its streets are still car-dominated. This discourages walking, causes poor air quality and undermines people’s health. The ambition to create healthier, more liveable neighbourhoods across London with walking at their heart is welcome step.”
Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “London’s boroughs work hard to transform neighbourhoods and provide additional facilities for local people and visitors to enjoy. We welcome this funding, which will help us create beautiful and – crucially – functional spaces where we can promote sustainable methods of transport, such as walking and cycling, and reduce the impact of pollution.”