A welcome investment in walking and cycling in the Southampton City Region

Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council have secured £760,000 from the Department for Transport to fund an additional 12 months of cycling and walking projects as part of the award winning My Journey sustainable travel programme.

The funding will enable both authorities to deliver on the visions set out in their respective adopted cycling strategies, including activities and projects to increase the uptake of cycling and walking in and around the Southampton area. The overall ambition of these strategies is to create a cycling and walking culture that enriches people’s lives and provides them with realistic travel choices to access work and education, enhance their skills, get more active and support Southampton’s Green City vision and Hampshire’s Climate Emergency.

The programme consists of three themes;

  1. Working with pupils and parents across schools in the area to build awareness, skills and confidence and make travel to school by bike and on foot easier and safer;
  2. Showcasing cycling and walking through infrastructure, Cycling Festivals including HSBC Let’s Ride Southampton and Cycle Southampton and grass roots support for community groups designed to overcome barriers to physical activity.
  3. Help workplaces in the Southampton City Region change policies, upgrade facilities to make active travel the norm and inspire and support individuals to travel to work actively.

The funding secured will complement planned investment in cycling and walking infrastructure targeted along three key corridors that connect to major employment, training and education sites within the Southampton Travel to Work area (this covers Southampton, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford, Hedge End, Botley and Totton).

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Deputy Leader of Southampton City Council and Cabinet Member for Place and Transport, said:

“This is a great investment which will support our vision to create a true cycling city that inspires people and makes Southampton a better, safer and easier place to cycle and walk around.

My Journey has seen success over the past eight years in getting people on their bikes and walking more, and this announcement enables us to continue to build on this progress so that everyone benefits. There are some pressing issues in Southampton around air quality, poor health and congestion and these projects will work towards tackling these challenges. We know that over 23,000 people commute between Southampton and Eastleigh each day, making it the busiest commuting flow in South Hampshire, so getting more people to cycle and walk to work and school will improve conditions for everyone.”

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said:

“It is certainly good news that the excellent My Journey programme has secured this national funding. We’ve made a commitment at Hampshire County Council to reduce carbon emissions and focus on the environmental impact of everything we do and this will help us to continue to promote sustainable travel options to Hampshire residents, encouraging people to leave their cars at home and walk or cycle, or use public transport, when they can.  As well as reducing carbon emissions, this has a positive impact on air quality in our towns as walking to school, car-sharing or switching off idling car engines contribute significantly to healthier air quality for all of us.”