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Lack of Ambition & Failure to Follow Guidance Main Reasons for Failed ATF3 Bids

Poor quality cycle infrastructure on Beckwith Head Road
Poor quality cycle infrastructure on Beckwith Head Road, Harrogate

Be bold if you want funding for cycling and walking, is the message from the Active Travel Fund Tranche 3 (ATF3) allocations, according to Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore.

£161 million has been awarded to 46 local authorities, and half of the £161 million went to just 7 authorities. In other words, the funding is very concentrated, not widely spread.

Reasons for Failed Bids

Mr Dollimore makes reference to West Sussex County Council, which unlawfully took out a scheme paid for by ATF1. That council was unable to apply for ATF3 funding.

He also discusses Worcestershire County Council, which will not accept any reduction of space for motor vehicles, whether moving or parked. Dollimore points out that under the government’s Updated Network Management Duty Guidance, councils are obliged to reallocate space to active travel. Refusing to do so has consequences.

Councils that believe the LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design guidance does not apply to them will also fail to attract funding.

North Yorkshire very much falls into that category. Too often, they display an arrogant and complacent belief that they can do whatever they like, and ignore the guidance whenever they wish.

The Winners

Dollimore says large sums of money went to authorities that had ambitious plans.

This includes £17.9 million awarded to the North East for 9 schemes, including £3.5 million for a Seafront Sustainable Route at North Shields.

Rural authorities Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire were also handed large sums.

‘Now, some might argue that the funding should be more equally spread, but parking the arguments for and against that, it’s been crystal clear for some time that the jam wasn’t going to be spread evenly, that bold and ambitious bids would be favoured, and those councils which didn’t seem to ‘get’ active travel would receive nothing or very little.’

duncan dollimore, cycling uk

Wider Transport Funding

The article says that failure to reallocate road space to active travel can have implications for councils’ wider transport funding.

As the government consults on new guidance for local transport plans, “…it looks likely that it will become increasingly difficult for local authorities to secure wider transport funding without showing commitment to active travel.”

Cycling UK Manifesto for Cycling

Dollimore’s article also refers to its manifesto for cycling, and to a map showing which councillors supported it.



In Harrogate, it looks as though only Councillor Philip Broadbank supported the manifesto – well done and thank you Councillor Broadbank. Now let’s see your support for active travel translated into improvements on the ground.

Lack of Ambition & Failure to Follow Guidance Main Reasons for Failed ATF3 Bids

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