Devolving transport decisions to councils has long been a Lib Dem policy priority. As has been investing in low-carbon transport solutions.
The thinking behind the LSTF was included in the transport section of the Coalition Agreement:
"We will support sustainable travel initiatives, including the promotion of cycling and walking, and will encourage joint working between bus operators and local authorities."Reading Borough Council when under Coalition control submitted an ambitious, forward-thinking bid to the fund and has been successful to the tune of just under £5 million pounds of additional investment in transport solutions in our area.
This will go towards developing a new bike hire scheme for Reading, which could eventually include around 1,000 bicycles available for hire at 100 - 150 docking locations across the town.
Other key elements of Reading's successful bid were:
- Better and more effective 'real time' passenger information by linking transport databases
- Packages to encourage walking and cycling through improved street lighting, speed limit reviews, dropped kerbs and cycle training
- Making travelling around Reading easier for people by extending 'smart ticketing' to include car parking and bicycle hire, all on the one smartcard
- More discounts and incentives, route extensions and expanded park and ride opportunities.
“I am delighted to be able to fund these excellent projects.We will be pushing the Labour administration of the Council to use this investment innovatively and wisely to help deliver a greener Reading for residents and visitors.
“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.”