East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and Hampshire County Council (HCC) have both been successful in securing funding from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund with their joint bids with
the South Downs National Park Authority. ESCC has been awarded £1.571 million over the next 3 years for its travel choices for Lewes, while HCC has been awarded £3.81 million for sustainable transport in England’s newest national parks, the New Forest and South Downs.
Last month we reported that the decision on the funding for these projects had been delayed. Now it seems the Department for Transport has satisfied itself that the schemes are sound and deserve funding. However, neither project received the total amount that was bid for.
Both projects are very welcome and should help promote travel by means other than the car, while reducing carbon emissions and supporting the local economy. However, whether ultimately they will be successful is very much open to question with rail fares rising above inflation, fuel duty rebate for public transport operators being cut in August (in sharp contrast to fuel duty not now increasing in August) and West Sussex County Council cutting back on bus services including the no 62 to Midhurst.