The joint sustainable transport programme by BCP Council and Dorset Council, the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme, continues despite the challenges to society brought about by the coronavirus lockdown.
Allocated £79 million by the Department for Transport on 11 March, a TCF programme management team from both councils has come together and has been busy planning and preparing ready for when the programme of schemes can formally go live and work start.
Councillor Andy Hadley, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure at BCP Council, said: “Despite the huge impact that the coronavirus is having on everyone at the moment, the details of the TCF programme and it’s individual schemes continue to be progressed. The effect of the lockdown, I’m sure, will have had a profound impact on many, many people who have had to rethink their daily routine with different ways of travelling, and how they spend their leisure time.
“I’m looking forward to the consultation and engagement sessions over the coming months so that people have an opportunity to see how transformational our ambitions with this programme are.”
Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, Councillor Ray Bryan, said: “Over the last few weeks, many residents have been finding a renewed joy in walking and cycling, and this will hopefully be a lasting benefit post-COVID-19.
“The cycleway schemes we’re working on will create a sophisticated network of walking and cycling routes to take us into the future of more sustainable travel, for work and leisure.”
Some aspects of programme are already progressing behind the scenes, such as environmental and topographical surveys in progress across the conurbation and finalising of routes and schemes. A dedicated TCF web page will go live shortly with more details about the programme, along with a TCF newsletter and a blog feature will be available soon for people to sign up to for detailed updates on the project.
A new online engagement tool will also be launched shortly, so that people have an opportunity to comment on the proposals, along with a programme of engaging with local stakeholder groups over the summer.
Read the TCF update from the BCP Cabinet meeting 27 May, and Dorset Council’s report from their Cabinet meeting on 5 May.