County council looks to improve transport links with £50m Levelling Up bid

Lancashire County Council has submitted a £50m bid to the government's Levelling Up Fund which would be invested in creating safer and greener transport links for residents.

The plan features a range of complementary public transport, walking and cycling projects designed to improve travel opportunities for people across East Lancashire.

The council considered 600 potential transport schemes around the county before selecting projects in Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.

Together they form the council's bid, which it has titled "Levelling Up East Lancashire: Creating opportunities through greener, safer and healthier travel" and which centres around three core principles:

  • Liveable Neighbourhoods – making residential areas safer for walking and cycling, and making neighbourhoods more attractive by connecting places through greener walking and cycling routes.
  • Public Transport Service Improvements – upgrading public transport facilities, and reducing journey times to work, training and education.
  • Active Travel – improving walking and cycling facilities, connecting residential areas with places of employment, shops and leisure facilities – all helping to improve the health and well-being of local people.

County councillor Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: "A huge amount of work has been undertaken to identify the areas that would benefit the most from the Levelling Up Fund. This includes looking at levels of employment, health, physical activity, air quality, car ownership, road accidents, walking and cycling, and bus and rail services."

The county council has also offered in-principle funding support to six Levelling Up Fund bids being made by district and borough councils from its own £m Levelling Up Investment Fund. It is hoped this support will increase the chances of these partner council's having a successful bid.

The council's being supported are Preston City Council, Chorley Council, West Lancashire Borough Council, Rossendale Borough Council, Hyndburn Borough Council and Fylde Borough Council.

Coun Riggott added: "All of these bids are really exciting and will make a real difference to their areas. We're proud to be backing all of them."