PLANS for sustainable travel get the green light as Gloucestershire County Council is awarded £920,000 from the Department for Transport.

The money was awarded after the local authority bid for Thinktravel 2015, where they had to demonstrate it would boost economic growth, reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and encourage higher levels of cycling and walking to improve public health.

Thanks to an additional contribution of £574,845 from several local authorities and organisations, a total of £1,494,845 will be invested to bring environmental, health and economic benefits to the county.

The county council was previously awarded £4.9 million by the Department for Transport in June 2012 which has been funding ‘Thinktravel’ initiatives over the last three years.

The funding will allow more active travel to be promoted, such as walking and cycling, with continued help for businesses who support their employees to travel in a greener way for their commuting and business journeys.

The funding will also support travel choices for spectators visiting the Rugby World Cup in 2015 by promoting the use of bus and rail stations in Gloucester, Cheltenham and Lydney.

The winning bid also includes a bike hire scheme and the implementation of bike vouchers with Job Centre Plus to allow access to employment by bike to those who cannot take a job for transport reasons.

This funding compliments the council’s Active Together grants scheme which is open to community groups such as sports clubs, scout groups, parish and town councils and schools who want to increase their sport and physical activity.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for planning and infrastructure said, “I'm delighted to see this funding made available to us in Gloucestershire and I’d like to thank our partners including local councils and other county organisations for the contribution they have made.

“As we ask more people to choose travel that cuts congestion and carbon, this funding will make that choice easier for people living and working in the county, as well as those who visit us.”