03 April 2014

Bidding for cash

Plymouth City Council:

Plymouth City Council is bidding for a further £1.68 million from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) to support ‘smarter travel’ projects. The Department for Transport (DfT) has invited councils across England to bid for additional funding made available for projects that support the local economy, boost growth and reduce carbon emissions by promoting walking, cycling and sustainable transport. Submissions also need to show strong integration with local enterprise partnerships’ strategic economic plans and the Heart of the South West LEP fully endorses the Council’s proposals.

The first bid focuses on two of Plymouth’s designated growth areas – Derriford and the Royal William Yard – and looks to build on the success of the city’s current LSTF programme, Plymotion. It aims to encourage more people living in, working in or visiting these areas to travel by bus, by bike and on foot and includes plans for an enhanced bus service between the city centre and Royal William Yard.

The second bid is to support the work of South West Smart Applications Limited (SWSAL) as it continues to improve smart ticketing for public transport in the region. The organisation is made up of 15 local authorities and bus companies and is hosted by Plymouth University. If the bid is successful, funding will be used to help create a centre of excellence for smart ticketing development in Plymouth, which will be drawn on by bus companies and local authorities from across the UK that want to set up innovative smart ticketing schemes. Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The opportunity to bid for additional funding from the LSTF is really exciting for Plymouth and could make a big difference to local residents and visitors travelling around the city. The current Plymotion programme has been very well received and is encouraging people to walk, cycle and use the bus more. If this second Plymotion bid is successful it will enable the project to continue for at least another year and mean residents and business in the north of the city can also benefit from the programme.”

Chairman of SWSAL, Dr Andrew Seedhouse said “We are delighted to work with Plymouth City Council and the regional LEPs in this innovative bid submission and thank them for their support. At its heart is making smartcard ticketing easier for businesses and residents of the South West, supporting multi-operator travel and helping encourage more car users to use the bus. Smart ticketing provides a great platform for both sustainable economic growth as well as contributing to reducing emissions, and so the more bums on seats we can get – the better for everyone."

Although some of this does seem a bit wishy washy on first glance, there are some interesting things here which need a more detailed post at some stage in the not-to-distant future. I certainly hope that the council do the the money!

Sorry for the lack of extra blog links etc today - I had them all copied into my editor which then threw a wobbly and promptly lost the whole lot! Its too late to go back through everything to find them again.

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