Funding from external partners agreed for transport projects

Councillors yesterday (Thurs 25 Aug) agreed funding for several transport projects which had been granted external partners including £750,000 for cycleways and pavements around the third Don crossing.

Members of Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee noted the money awards and also approved expenditure in match funding.

The report to committee said how Sustrans Scotland made a further match-funding contribution of £750,000 to the pedestrian and cycle infrastructure associated with the third Don crossing.

It also outlined approximately £2,867 in match-funding had been awarded to the Council from the Sustrans School Cycle and Scooter Parking Fund 2016.

There was also £20,000 received from Transport Scotland’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places fund, and £102,000 from Transport Scotland’s Grant for Chargeplace Scotland Network 2016/17 fund.

The report further said there had been awards from the Sustrans Community Links Fund 2016/17 and the Scottish Government’s Air Quality Grant Scheme 2016/17.

Aberdeen City Council’s Regeneration and Transport spokesman Councillor Ross Grant said: “The award-funding and grants from all these organisations is great as it means we can provide extra particularly walking and cycling facilities for people.

“We welcome the awards and grants and I’m sure our residents and visitors will enjoy the improvements they bring.”

The report to committee said Sustrans offered the Council a further contribution of £750,000 for cycleways and pavements on condition that the savings from the Council’s Non-Housing Capital Programme (NHCP) resulting from the contribution is re-invested in active travel.

A NHCP Active Travel Infrastructure fund was created in 2015 following the initial Sustrans contribution and it is envisaged that the savings from the further award will also be placed here to be used to deliver active travel infrastructure projects between now and 2018.

To date, the report said, these funds have been used to develop further pedestrian and cycle links around the River Don.

It is envisaged that this will continue in the future, in terms of developing the National Cycle Network Route 1 through the Arjo Wiggins site and contributing to a pedestrian and cycle bridge at Muggiemoss, as well as a range of projects in other areas of the city, including active travel elements of the City Centre Masterplan and forthcoming Sustainable Mobility Action Plan.

The report also said as NHCP Active Travel Infrastructure money remains City Council money, there will be scope in future years to match-fund this with further Sustrans contributions or with Transport Scotland’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places initiative, and the value to the Council of the award could therefore be as high as £1.5million.