Skip to content

Safe travel

What is Devon County Council Doing?

The Emergency Active Travel Fund is designed to help implement temporary low cost interventions to create an environment that is safe for both walking and cycling. Active travel allows people to get around whilst maintaining social distance and will have an essential role to play in helping us avoid overcrowding on public transport systems as the economy begins to restart. There is a window of opportunity to act now to embed walking and cycling as part of new long-term commuting habits and reap the associated health, air quality and congestion benefits.


Some high-level guidance has been provided by Department for Transport, outlining that:

  • £225m allocated to local authorities in 2 phases;
  • Phase 1 is £45m for closing roads to through traffic, installing segregated cycle lanes and widening pavements;
  • Main purpose of Phase 1 is to promote cycling as a replacement for journeys previously made by public transport;
  • DCC allocated provisionally £338k in Phase 1 plus £22k local match (cycle parking). Totalling £360k. But amounts are indicative; need to evidence swift, meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians;
  • Final amount will be dependent on a bid to be completed by Friday 5 June for Phase 1;
  • All measures should use temporary materials such as barriers and planters. Elaborate, costly materials will not be funded;
  • Schemes should be on the cycling/walking network plan
  • Anything not altering the status quo will not be funded;
  •  If work has not started within four weeks of receiving the allocation, or completed within eight weeks of starting, the DfT can claw back the funding by adjusting a future grant payment;
  • Phase 2 (£180m) is less certain and will be released later in the summer to enable more permanent measures, probably subject to a second bidding process ;
  • Robust monitoring and evaluation plans must be in place. Phase 2 funding will be conditional on value for money and evaluation plans;

It goes on to advise that schemes could be:

  • Point Closures: quickest and cheapest option. Could be of main roads or parallel side streets, if direct enough to provide an alternative. Also used to create low-traffic neighbourhoods.
  • Pop-up Segregated Cycle Lanes: more difficult to implement quickly and must be full or light segregation. Swift implementation using temporary materials of existing cycle plans involving reallocation of road space could also be funded.


There has been a lot of interest in the initiative which has resulted in the focus of the DCC proposed Emergency Active Travel Fund measures. The measures are focused on regional centres of  Exeter, Newton Abbot and Barnstaple/Bideford where there is the greatest economic activity and public transport usage. Due to the need to act quickly many of the interventions are developed from the existing programme of urban cycle and public realm enhancements. Please see the area pages for more information on the proposals for each town. 


Provisional funding allocations based on advice from the DfT to focus on the main urban areas, greatest public transport usage and cost estimates are: .

  • Exeter: £150k
  • Key Market Towns (Newton Abbot/Bideford/Barnstaple): £150k
  • Rest of County: £60k (approximately £2k for towns to implement their own proposals)

If you have any queries regarding the Emergency Active Travel Fund please email: