By Daniel Hunter

30 carbon cutting, growth boosting local transport schemes were given the green light today (Thursday) by Transport Minister Norman Baker.

The projects have won funding totalling £113 million as part of the second allocation from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. They are led by 29 English local authorities with many more as partners and cover eight regions. All projects are designed to create a sustainable transport package that delivers economic growth and reduces carbon emissions.

The successful schemes include a variety of measures including improving sustainable transport options for commuters, creating public transport hubs, building better cycling infrastructure and even providing a new ferry service.

Norman Baker said:

"The schemes we are funding today will benefit communities from Devon to Durham by cutting carbon emissions, reducing congestion and stimulating economic growth in these areas.

"By investing in these projects we are signalling our commitment to green growth which will help to kick-start economic activity in local areas while improving access to healthier forms of transport and addressing the problem of climate change."

The schemes to be funded include:

- Smarter Travel Slough which will reduce congestion on main roads in the rush hour by increasing the use of walking, cycling and public transport. This will improve air quality and health while supporting business efficiency.

- Walk to School Outreach will see Durham County Council working with national charity Living Streets and eight other councils to increase the number of children walking to school in 854 primary and 182 secondary schools nationally. The project aims to reduce congestion and improve health through exercise.

- Travel Torbay Regeneration Project will deliver a new fast ferry service between Torbay and Brixham which will see journey times cut by half, a new cycle route to encourage more low carbon journeys and a supporting package of employer based travel planning to help increase use of public transport.

- Access to Jobs, Training and Services in Stafford will aim to reduce congestion at peak times in Stafford by improving access to walking, cycling and public transport. People will be encouraged to reconsider their travel habits through offers of discounted bus travel and a new mobile cycle centre providing cyclists with information and advice as well as selling reconditioned bikes.

- Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism on the Isle of Wight will improve the island’s sustainable transport network to support its bid to become a leading destination for green tourism. This will include the provision of transport hubs and easily-accessible live travel information to help visitors and local people plan their journeys. Walking and cycling routes will also receive a boost.

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