Local councils get most of their core money to spend on transport schemes from TfL’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) funding. Councils have to bid for funding for 2022/23 by 5 November. To be successful, bids have to show how their plans will support the Mayor’s Transport Strategy – ultimately to reduce car use and reach the goal of 80% of journeys being walked, cycled or by public transport. Read all about LIPs here: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/boroughs-and-communities/local-implementation-plans
With the current funding crisis ongoing, LIP funding appears mostly set to go to just keep borough Highways teams running, but could also be spent on stuff like LTNs, cycle hangars and School Streets. And LCC local groups can use LIP as another opportunity to push councils to do better on active travel. Council officers are probably in the process of putting together bids right now for the November deadline. You are active travel experts in your borough, and those officers need to hear from you!
If your borough is facing a funding freeze due to misspending Streetspace funds, e.g. pulling out a cycle scheme before a trial was complete, now’s your chance to offer some support. Your group can suggest ways to prioritise active travel that will get the council back into TfL’s good books. Suggest a trial wand-protected cycle track on a strategic route (see the Strategic Cycle Network here) or a priority area for a low traffic neighbourhood (see TfL’s analysis here) or a timed closure on a busy high street to prioritise buses, active travel and the recovery of the local economy.
Whatever the status of your council, from pioneer to stick-in-the-mud, engagement with their local LCC group can only help. In fact it’s a requirement, according to 2018 LIP guidance (although some councils might plead lack of resources in the current climate), which lists LCC among a number of transport campaign groups to engage with.
This is your opportunity to present yourselves as positive, constructive and well-informed members of the community who can offer real support for good active travel measures. If they only hear from groups who oppose active travel, they may assume that these groups represent the whole community, and lose their nerve. And if you haven’t already got a good relationship and regular meetings with council officers, this is a good place to start – get in touch and ask for an informal and friendly meeting to discuss LIP bids.
If your mind is boggled by this and it all sounds way too technical, please get in touch and we’ll talk you through it! LCC staff are here to help. Give us a shout on email@example.com