Myth: “Waste of Council money, should be spent on …”

Councils are rarely, if ever, funding active travel (walking and cycling) schemes themselves. In Greater Manchester, schemes tend to be funded by central Government. The schemes in Bolton are mostly funded through specific funds such as the Growth Deal, the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund, and the Transforming Cities Fund. These funds are provided by Government for specific purposes. If the Council doesn’t spend them on the purpose for which they are intended, then the money will be handed to another council who will.

Funds that are being spent on active travel infrastructure pale into insignificance compared to the funds being spent on infrastructure for motoring. In the next 5 years, Highways England alone will spend £27.4 billion, including £14.2 billion on road building. One single roundabout in Bedfordshire alone is projected to cost £1.4 billion, almost as much as the whole Made to Move walking and cycling project across Greater Manchester.

It’s not a lot to ask that a small proportion of the transport spend be devoted to investment that has been shown to bring average returns of 550%.

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