Letter to MPs and PCC re Covid and Cycling as at May 25

REPLIES FROM MPs AND PLYMOUTH CITY COUNCIL TO OUR REQUEST FOR THEIR POSITION ON GOVERNMENT FUNDING TO REALLOCATE ROAD SPACE FOR WALKING AND CYCLING (£250 MILLION FOR IMMEDIATE USE, £2bn TO FOLLOW)

ABBREVIATED VERSION OF REPLY TO OUR EMAIL AND ATTACHED LETTER DATED MAY 15TH FROM CLLR MARK COKER (PCC Cabinet Member for Transport) DATED MAY 18TH :
Thank you for your email referring to the Secretary of State for Transports announcement of extra funding for walking and cycling schemes. Our sustainable transport team are working on this and an update will go on our website either today or tomorrow (Plymouth Cycling Camapign (PCyC) note: we cannot find any mention on the PCC website as yet).
We will be asking residents to email cycling@plymouth.gov.uk with ideas and suggestions that they have for spending this money.
So far local councils have received no indication from central government as to the amount of funding that will be made available or how the allocation will be made.
It will be essential that all parties are involved in the process and I look forward to having the help and support of your group in this.
MESSAGE FROM MARK COKER ENDS

WE REPLIED (short version, edited to include essential points):
Delighted to hear PCC is actively working on ways to make use of the Government fund of £250 million immediately available with a further £2bn to make streets safer for cycling and walking. But also disappointed that we have so far not seen anything on the ground in the way of temporary reallocation of road space. I attach a file listing what we consider to be schemes which meet the criteria for immediate action under the Government’s guidelines.
It is important to point out that this guidance is that schemes should be put in place now: “Measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect.” Plymouth must grasp this opportunity.
The Government’s guidelines are clear. Local Authorities should be acting now.
PCyC REPLY ENDS
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We also contacted Johnny Mercer MP, Sir Gary Streeter MP and Luke Pollard MP

JOHNNY MERCER MP:
On May 18th we received a request from his office for more information which we sent on May 19th. On May 20th we received the following reply from his office:
“Good morning, Thank you so much for this detailed information.  I will share it with Johnny.”

FROM SIR GARY STREETER MP:
He has been supportive and active, meeting with Sustrans and Ivybridge groups re a possible route from Yealmpton to Elburton, and National Cycling Network Route 2 improvements between Ivybridge and Plymouth, including schemes in Plympton. His response:
“Many thanks for this and I will continue to support this at every opportunity and I am pressing  the government at the moment  to clarify to local authorities how the extra £2 billion for cycling and walking can be accessed and I know that both Plymouth and Devon councils are keen to bid for money as soon as they are able to.”

FROM LUKE POLLARD MP:
Luke Pollard responded by Tweet requesting a Zoom meeting. We emailed him back saying we would of course like to do so. We haven’t heard further. We will chase.

Note: On Friday we responded to a request from the All Party Cycling Parliamentary Committee for the names of councils who have not as yet made any announcements re the £250 million emergency fund.

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