£6million fund for transport in West Sussex

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A fund of more than £6million for transport has been secured for West Sussex but a recent cut to bus funds will not be reversed.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) was awarded £6m to invest in Horsham and Chichester after it made three successful bids to the Department of Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund to improve cycleways and public transport facilities and initiatives.

£2.46m was given for the three-year ‘West Sussex Sustainable Travel Towns’ project to make it easier for people to use buses instead of their cars and encourage people to change the way they travel.

Last month WSCC reduced subsidies during the final phase of its three-year programme to cut non-commercial routes by £2 million.

These cuts came as part of the council’s drive to save £79 million following significant grant reductions from central government.

WSCC has confirmed that the recently-awarded funds have been supplied by central government to put towards specific purposes.

A spokesperson for WSCC said: “The county council has been successful in securing investment over the next three years in a range of sustainable transport infrastructure improvements and initiatives in Chichester and Horsham.

“The project aims to support economic growth and carbon reduction by increasing the use of sustainable modes of transport for journeys to places of work and education.

“Investment is expected in public transport interchange facilities, cycle routes and pedestrian facilities.

“The application is in no way related to County Council bus subsidies.”

County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “We believe this funding will help promote economic growth in both towns while reducing carbon emissions.

“The Department of Transport has decided that allocating money for Chichester and Horsham will benefit these areas, so this is a fabulous opportunity to make improvements.”

The money will be invested over the next three years to create cycle and walking routes to stations and to upgrade bus and rail facilities and provide information to help visitors get around.

The county council has also secured additional investment for Walk to School initiatives, which encourage greater numbers of West Sussex school pupils to walk to and from school.

Visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/buses.