CYCLING campaigners have slammed a York council bid for £850,000 from the Government to support cycling and walking in the city.

City of York Council said earlier this week it was applying to the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, designed to support walking and cycling for commuting as the country emerges from the pandemic.

It said it had submitted a programme of actions at key locations, including improvements to the A1237 outer ring road bridge, further improvements on the A19 Shipton Road and measures in the city centre, including improved signage and a new crossing near Castle Mills Bridge.

It also included the provision of cycling and walking links between Wheldrake and Heslington, and improvements to conditions for cyclists on Acomb Road.

But far from welcoming the proposals, the York Cycle Campaign said it was "dismayed".

It claimed: “Although this is a nice list of measures, the majority of them fail to meet the criteria set by the Government, and risk York losing out on much of the £850,000 on offer to the city.

“The measures are not connected, lack any strategic vision and fail to demonstrate the kind of ambition that our city needs to have.”

But deputy council leader and Green Party executive member for transport, Cllr Andy D’Agorne, said the application was to deliver a range of interventions across the city to address key locations where there were limited or no current cycling/walking facilities.

“A long list of measures was prioritised against the fund’s criteria, the potential for the scheme to be delivered by the end of the financial year and agreed on by the council’s executive,” he said.

“We consider that we have proposed an ambitious list of measures which will be deliverable quickly together with further complementary measures to be delivered using a further £600,000 of council transport funding in 2021/22.

“We will continue to work with the Cycle Campaign and other stakeholders to ensure that the most effective schemes are delivered to encourage more people to cycle and walk in the city.”