MP Bob Seely has welcomed major government investment to boost green travel across the Island.
Today, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has confirmed the Island will receive an additional £13.6 million through round three of its Levelling Up Fund to deliver three interconnected projects that will lead to improved walking and cycling networks across the Island.
The Island previously secured £5.8 million in the first funding round to develop a Marine Hub in East Cowes.
The first of the new projects to be funded will result in the development of a ‘green link’ corridor between Ryde and Yarmouth to encourage people to leave their cars at home and travel more by bike, bus or on foot.
The second project will see the development of a multi-use 13-mile cycle route between Newport and Freshwater – known as the ‘West Wight Greenway’ – providing an important link to the Gunville Greenway and improving access to the rest of the Island's cycle network.
The third project will see an extension of existing cycle routes in and around Newport connecting Green Link projects with existing sustainable transport networks.
Mr Seely said: “I am delighted government has committed this money to the Island. I’ve been campaigning for the West Wight Greenway. It is a critical link in the development of our Island’s cycle routes.
“Whilst we are largely dependent on our cars in the more rural parts of the Island, making bus travel cheaper and more attractive as we’ve done with the £2 bus fare, and investing in our cycling and walking routes, will make alternative methods of transport more attractive for some people some of the time. It is a valuable investment at relatively little cost.
“The cycle routes are important for transport, for health, and the tourism industry.
“I’m glad we are continuing to get a better deal for Islanders.
“We are going to see improvements to our sustainable transport networks which will benefit Islanders and visitors.
“I caught up with representatives from Cycle Wight very recently. I’m aware there is work that could be done to improve the surfacing of the route between Sandown and Newport. I’ll be talking to the Isle of Wight Council as to whether some of the money can be used for that purpose as well.”