The Government has announced that Derby, in partnership with Nottingham City Council, is to receive £912,000 from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Access Fund, to continue a package of successful travel projects across Nottingham and Derby aimed at boosting levels of cycling and walking and improving access to jobs, training and education. Derby will receive around £397,000 that will enable the Council and delivery partners to offer local people sustainable transport advice and support until April 2021.

The Access Fund programme is delivered through two main work streams:

The Metro Connected Communities has been aimed at improving air quality and public health by providing households with personalised travel plans to encourage the use of zero or low emission transport alternatives. It also includes services such as cycle training, walking, rides, and bike maintenance to help people get back into cycling.

Metro Jobs has focused on improving access to work, jobs and skills with programmes to support employers, business innovation and those seeking employment. This includes facilitating staff travel events offering travel advice, cycle training, Dr Bike, commuter challenges and targeted personal journey planning. In addition, Jobseeker travel support has helped over 2,000 people overcome travel barriers and connect to jobs with 500 jobseekers benefiting from journey budding, cycle training, reconditioned bikes and courses offering skills and qualifications equipping them for jobs in the cycling industry.

The Government also announced on Friday (7th February) that all children in England will be offered essential bike safety and skills training, as its Bikeability training programme is significantly expanded.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation said:

“This is great news for both Derby and Nottingham and shows a commitment to support cities like ours that are working hard to enable more people to access different travel options, which in turn will improve people’s health and improve the quality of air around us.

I’m especially keen to promote cycling to schools as this promotes a healthy lifestyle, reduces car journeys and helps us to deliver on our Clean Air commitment in Derby. Today’s announcement of the extended Bikeability programme, means that we are able to increase our cycle training from 1,400 children a year to approximately 10,000, which is excellent news for the city.”