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Wirral's transport cash boost could restart 20mph safety drive
WIRRAL Council's ruling cabinet has approved a £3.2m funding boost for transport schemes which could rescue the borough’s stalled 20mph road safety drive.
The scheme was put on ice last month when the council froze all “non-essential” spending after it realised it was heading for a £17m budget deficit.
It was announced in July that Wirral would receive a share of a £19.9m Government grant awarded to Merseyside Transport Partnership.
During a meeting of cabinet on Thursday night, councillors approved recommendations made in a report by the interim director of technical services outlining how the money will be allocated.
Each of Wirral’s 12 area forum will now receive £20,000 for road safety schemes in their neighbourhoods, which could pave the way for more 20mph zones to be introduced.
The report recommended that more than £2m – around £670,000 per year – will supplement the grant the council receives from the Department of Transport.
Council leader Phil Davies said: “Clearly, this is very good news.
“A funding boost of £3.2m is always helpful to us, particularly at a time when the economy is flat-lining. “ “We have representations about road safety. The immediate release of £220,000 means 20,000 for area forums is also very welcome.”
The majority of the capital investment will go towards improving pavements and cycling in Wirral.
Councillor Harry Smith, cabinet member for Streetscene and transport, thanked officers for their efforts in securing the funding.
"Particularly in these times of serious budget challenges, our share of this successful bid is a very welcome boost," he said.
"It will give us the opportunity to deliver additional projects and schemes in Wirral which will help to remove transport as a barrier to employment for local people.
"It also means local people will once again have the opportunity to decide on transport schemes in their own community through the allocation of funds through area forums."