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Monday, 4 May 2015

Community grants available to promote car-free travel in the New Forest



New grants of up to £15,000 are available for projects that promote car-free travel in the New Forest National Park.

Community Group Friends of Sway Station
Friends of Sway Station (l-r) Kevin Cripps, Tony Oakhill, Alan Cracknell and
Alastair Smith with their ‘Explore Sway’ walking and cycling information board and leaflets.
Community groups, local organisations and businesses can apply to the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund to encourage travel by rail, bus, bike or on foot.

The fund has already allocated £124,528 to 28 sustainable transport projects since 2013 including electric vehicle charging points, bike racks and storage facilities, shuttle bus services to events, and publication of bike and hike routes.

It has now been extended with a pot of £50,000 available for 2015/16, with a limit of up to £15,000 per project. This funding is supported by the Department for Transport’s Two National Parks Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme.

New projects could include:  

  • mini-bus services for major events in the National Park
  • production and promotion of walking and cycling guides for local journeys
  • support for visitor attractions and tourism providers to encourage their customers to arrive car-free.

One local group to benefit from the grant scheme was the Friends of Sway Station, who produced 10,000 ‘Exploring Sway’ leaflets and installed an information board at the rail station to guide visitors on the best walking and cycling routes in and around the village.

Alan Cracknell, from the Friends of Sway Station, said: ‘Without the grant, and assistance from the New Forest National Park Authority, we wouldn’t have been able to do this at all. We’ve had good feedback from visitors to the village, saying it’s helped them discover the best places to cycle or where to go for a walk out in the Forest. It’s really helped enhance their experience.’

To find out more visit the Sustainable Communities Fund section at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/grants or contact Fiona Wynne on 01590 646634 or by email fiona.wynne@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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