Congestion and pollution will be reduced if Shrewsbury’s ‘Mini-Holland’ bid is successful, executives say
Shrewsbury could be in line for a £20million boost to transform movement in and around the city after being selected to apply for the next stage of a government funding scheme.
The Mini-Holland scheme has been piloted in three London boroughs, which are being transformed into ‘cycling hubs’, equipped with high specification Dutch-style cycling infrastructure, designed to make cycling as attractive and accessible as it is in Holland.
If the feasibility study and Shrewsbury’s bid is successful, the council will receive up to £20m to improve travel options across Shrewsbury.
Councilor Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s active travel cabinet member, said funding for Mini-Holland could come at the perfect time.
“We are currently undertaking a major review of transport and travel around Shrewsbury, following consultation on the master plan vision for the Greater Town Plan last year,” he said.
“This feasibility study for funding Mini-Holland will be linked to this work, and with so much research already underway on our shared vision for the future of Shrewsbury, we are in a strong position.
“We look forward to working closely with our partners in the Greater Shrewsbury Town Plan Partnership to present the best case possible for Shrewsbury to receive this funding.”
Councilor Rob Wilson, Chairman of Shrewsbury Council’s Active Travel Group, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Shrewsbury has been selected for the next round of this funding scheme, which would bring huge benefits to the town. .
“We have seen elsewhere that providing high quality pedestrian and cycling infrastructure allows more people of all ages and abilities to choose active travel for short and medium duration journeys. It would have a really positive impact on congestion and pollution in our city.
James Handley, Non-Executive Director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “This scale of investment would transform access to the city center from residential areas, give a big boost to local businesses, while helping to reduce congestion for road users.”
Olympic gold medalist Chris Boardman, who heads Active Travel England, the government’s new executive agency, said: ‘It’s about enabling people to leave their cars at home and enjoy local journeys on foot or by bike. Active Travel England will ensure that high quality spaces for cycling, rolling and walking are provided in all parts of England, creating better streets, a happier school and healthier and more enjoyable journeys to work and shopping.