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The Brighton project was one of 39 sustainable transport schemes across England that were given the go ahead as part of a £155 million Government investment aimed at boosting economic growth and reducing carbon emissions.
Cabinet member for transport in Brighton and Hove City Council, Green councillor Ian Davey, expressed joy at the news. He said the scheme had been suggested by Greens during the previous Tory administration, and it was good news that it was won under the new Green administration: “One of our key aims is to give the city the infrastructure it needs to be open for business. A crucial part of that is sustainable transport, enabling people and goods to move around without spoiling our streets or the air we breathe.
“This is a great opportunity for the council to work with residents and business to alleviate some of the transport problems in the area, particularly poor air quality caused by congestion.”
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesperson said: “It’s part of our ambition to make the city one of the greenest in the UK. Some 66 councils bid for a pot of £155m the government made available. 37 authorities were successful."
With external partnership and council funds, plus support from the local community, the project will be worth approximately £6 million over four years. Key partners in the bid include Southern Rail, Brighton & Hove Buses, Sussex and Brighton Universities, the Primary Care Trust, and the Engineering and Physical Research Council.
"It will be used to help local people make more eco-friendly transport plans for themselves. Physical alterations to the road will include upgrades to public transport infrastructure, cycling improvements, traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian improvements and improved links to the new South Downs National Park.
An exact timescale for the project has yet to be fixed, but work should start this year.
The judging panel included buses and transport expert Tony Depledge, Ian Drummond from local government body ADEPT, Stephen Joseph from Campaign for Better Transport, Adam Marshall from the British Chambers of Commerce, Lynn Sloman from Transport for Quality of Life.
Brighton Pavilion's Green MP Caroline Lucas said the news was "fantastic" and a "step in the right direction".
39 projects won funding as part of the first allocation from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. They cover eight regions and a total of 37 local authorities, with many more as partners. All have been judged to be effective against the fund’s two key objectives of creating growth and cutting carbon.
The successful schemes also include a variety of measures such as smart ticketing, the promotion of infrastructure for electric vehicles, bus and rail improvement measures, cycling and walking and are designed to link together to create a sustainable transport package that delivers economic growth.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “I am delighted to be able to fund these excellent projects.
“All the winning schemes have one thing in common – they will help build strong local economies while addressing the urgent challenge of climate change.
“We have empowered local authorities to create packages of sustainable initiatives that are tailored for their local areas, and this is only the beginning – even more funding will be announced next summer following a second round of bids.”
For details of the Brighton and Hove's bid for DfT funds, click here
More on this story from the DfT - http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-press-20110705