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Access Fund winners announced

Today the 25 projects that have won a share of the £60m Access Fund will be celebrating the Department for Transport’s long-awaited official announcement on this.

Some notable awards amongst the successful projects are:

  • Tees Valley Combined Authority – which means Darlington is the only Sustainable Travel Demonstration Town still benefiting from successive DfT funding for sustainable transport programmes, and is able to continue to act as an exemplar of what on-going funding can achieve.
  • As can Brighton & HoveDevon and West of England – who have benefited from successive DfT sustainable transport funding streams since their days hosting Cycling Towns and Cities.
  • As can Isle of Wight and Sheffield City Region – who have now continuously received funding since the original Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
  • Blackpool – who has secured funding on behalf of ten authorities, Living Streets, Modeshift and Cycling UK for the only thematic project.
  • Norfolk – which is the only place granted funding that didn’t have a Local Sustainable Transport Fund project.

In particular we’re delighted to hear that East Sussex and Southend-on-Sea (with their partners Essex and Thurrock) have collectively netted £4.5m of funding, as The Smarter Choice Consultancy helped with their Access Fund bids.

Cycling & Walking to Work Fund

The Department has also awarded a further £3.8m to help connect people with employment and apprenticeships over the next 12 months in the city regions of Greater ManchesterLiverpool and West Yorkshire, as part of a Cycling & Walking to Work Fund.

Comparison with Local Sustainable Transport Fund

The relatively small scale of the Access Fund is clear from the awards made and a quick comparison with LSTF (noting the shorter timescale):

  • 25 projects got funding – about 50% of bids (compared to 96 projects through the LSTF, which funded 75% of bids).
  • Funding awards range from £0.7m to £7.5m (compared to between £0.4m and £37.4m for LSTF).
  • There are only three larger scale projects (compared to the LSTF’s 12 Large Projects).
  • Of the other 22 projects, the average award was £1.8m (compared to £3.2m on average for the LSTF’s 84 Small Projects).
What Works Report Published

In parallel to the Access Fund announcement the Department has today published What Works: Learning from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund 2011-2015, the practitioner evaluation of LSTF. Our lead expert Beth Hiblin was part of the Transport for Quality of Life team that researched and wrote What Works, which will be essential reading for Access Fund managers who want to ensure their projects are as efficient and effective as possible.

The Smarter Choice Consultancy will support delivery of Access Fund projects. We’re particularly interested in helping projects with monitoring & evaluation – to ensure that after Access Fund authorities have robust, locally-specific data which will help them secure funding in the Brexit economy, when funding streams are likely to be more limited and more competitive.

Read the DfT’s Access Fund press release.

View the list of successful and unsuccessful Access Fund bids.

Read more about What Works: Learning from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Download What Works: Learning from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund 2011-2015 and its Companion Appendices.