£3.8m to improve travel options for the New Forest and South Downs National Parks
Tuesday, 03 July 2012
The Department for Transport has awarded £3.8m to Hampshire County Council, the New Forest National Park and South Downs National Park - together with the neighbouring highways authorities of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and Wiltshire - for initiatives to reduce the impact of traffic on the two national parks.
The funding will allow the authorities to focus on:
- Improving key public transport services into the two National Parks;
- Making it easy to reach visitor attractions within the two National Parks;
- Promoting travel by cycle, bus and rail to and around the National Parks;
- Managing traffic effectively with the Parks, so that is does not detract from the visitors' experience.
Creating cycling and walking routes to stations
This will be achieved through a combination of infrastructure improvements together with the promotion of public transport, walking and cycling. This will include creating cycle and walking routes to stations, upgrading bus and rail facilities and schemes to increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said:
"While the County Council was the lead authority on this bid, we ensured we worked closely with the National Park Authorities and neighbouring councils in its development. I am delighted that we have been successful. This will help us significantly in working towards establishing a number of initiatives with the potential to reduce the impact of traffic and transport on these unique areas of the countryside, famous for their outstanding natural beauty."
Julian Johnson, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said:
"This is a once-in-a-generation funding opportunity. I am so pleased that everyone's hard work has paid off and that we have been successful. We now have a real opportunity to make a difference to sustainable transport in the New Forest."
Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park said:
"Situated in the most populous area of England and as the closest National Park to London we are keen to encourage greater use of public and sustainable transport to and within the South Downs National Park. This funding will enable us to work in close partnership with the local transport authorities to promote and support buses, trains, walking and cycling for both those who live here and those who come to enjoy the South Downs."