Northumberland walking and cycling projects in Bedlington and Hexham receive levelling up millions

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Pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure projects in Northumberland have received an injection of funding from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The £14.7m grant will be spent on active travel schemes within Bedlington, and connecting Hexham and Corbridge.

A second bid to secure investment funding for Ashington town centre was unsuccessful, however.

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The applications were submitted by Northumberland County Council to the central government infrastructure investment fund.

£14.7m was awarded for active travel projects in Northumberland.£14.7m was awarded for active travel projects in Northumberland.
£14.7m was awarded for active travel projects in Northumberland.

Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: "This is incredibly good news for the county and especially communities in Bedlington and Tynedale.

“The benefits of using our cars less where we can and taking more sustainable transport are well known to us all and this is exactly the kind of investment that will make a real difference.

“A considerable amount of work was carried out to develop a suite of local cycling and walking plans for the county and we are delighted these two schemes were successful in securing levelling up funding."

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The Bedlington project will see the creation of new and upgraded pedestrian and cycle lanes which will hopefully improve the links between the east and west of the town.

Cllr Glen Sanderson was "delighted" to secure the funding.Cllr Glen Sanderson was "delighted" to secure the funding.
Cllr Glen Sanderson was "delighted" to secure the funding.

This will involve connecting residential and employment areas with the Northumberland Line railway station currently under construction.

Schools in Bedlington will also receive better active travel connections under the scheme.

The new funding will be shared with a project to create an active travel link between Hexham station and Corbridge station, largely following the route of the A695 between the towns.

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That scheme will also improve cyclist and pedestrian connections within Hexham town centre.

Wansbeck Valley MP Ian Lavery said: “I am delighted at the fantastic news that the bid to improve cycling and walking connectivity in Bedlington from the transport element has been approved.

“It is, however, somewhat ironic that the bid, which was titled ‘Northumberland sustainable transport – Access to jobs’ and heavily linked to the prospects of the Britishvolt gigafactory at Cambois, has been successful in the week that the company entered administration.

“On the other hand, it is bitterly disappointing that the ‘Ashington Town Centre Transformation’ bid has been unsuccessful.

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"A huge number of people from both the public and private sector have been working on putting this bid together for several years and Northumberland County Council should use its own funding to ensure this work does not go to waste.”

This announcement follows that of a £500m strategy to improve active travel across the North East, which is currently undergoing public consultation despite not yet being funded.