WORCESTERSHIRE County Council has received a ‘zero rating’ from Active Travel England, which has cut the county off from receiving additional funding for cycling and walking routes.
Active Travel England is a Government inspectorate and funding body responsible for making walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice for everyone to get around by allocating funds to councils.
A rating of zero means an area has no local leadership or support for active travel, no plans in place, and only delivers lower complexity schemes.
Sam Ammar, Bromsgrove CLP Chairman, said: “This is an utter debacle, yet again, the lack of skill and ambition at Country Council fails to secure any funding for the County.”
She said that the County Council failed to secure bus route funding, and sees this as another blow for the area.
“It is simply unacceptable to fail due to lack of leadership, it’s an insult to the residents of Worcestershire, and this must be met with a radical leadership change at the County Council.”
In a self-assessment, the County Council rated themselves a level 1 for their performance on active travel due to some of the improvements they made.
One of these includes the A38 Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme (BREP), which aims to provide additional highway capacity for cycling and walking.
Councillor Mike Rouse, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: “As a County Council, we spend more than £20m per year on active travel measures.
“It is disappointing that Active Travel England decided to override our fair and reasonable Level 1 and put us at Level 0 instead, potentially cutting us off from funding opportunities.
“I have written to the new Secretary of State at the Department for Transport to voice my concern at this assessment, and I have invited her to come to Worcestershire, to hear our plans and see the difference increased government funding could make to the county.”