A PROJECT to improve access to jobs in Dorset by promoting green travel options has today secured more than half a million pounds from the government.

Dorset County Council has been awarded £570k from the Department for Transport to promote sustainable transport, including cycling and public transport, in the Portland, Weymouth Dorchester corridor in 2015-16.

There will also be work done at Ferndown Industrial Estate and the Aviation Business Park Area at Bournemouth Airport.

The government invited local authorities to bid for revenue funding from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) 2015-16 to promote and encourage sustainable transport.

The money for Dorset will fund projects including travel planning, travel information and social marketing, with the aim of reducing car journeys. This will also open up access to employment for jobseekers through cost effective, sustainable transport modes such as walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing.

It will be supported by substantial investment in cycle network infrastructure.

Dorset is among 44 areas nationwide to get funding for sustainable transport schemes announced today by transport minister Baroness Kramer.

She said: “We want more people to choose to travel in a way that cuts congestion and carbon, delivering economic and environmental benefits.”

Peter Finney, the county council’s Cabinet member for environment and the economy, welcomed the news.

Mr Finney said: “We are delighted to receive this new funding. It provides a great opportunity for local people when they are looking for jobs and for businesses recruiting staff.

“By investing further in sustainable transport we’ll be opening up new ways for people to get to work who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get there.”

The project will also see a £2.72 million investment from Dorset County Council, through its local transport plan.

Adam Bows, Dorset County Council’s principal transport planner, said: “We’ll be working with individual households, giving out personalised travel advice and looking at ways of reducing the number of local trips made by car.

"Grant funding will also be available to businesses to help them improve access to their sites for customers, staff and visitors."

One of the project’s aims is to remove car journeys from the roads, which will reduce traffic congestion and cut carbon emissions.

Mr Bows added: “We recognise that for some people travelling by car is the only option. So we’ll be encouraging commuters to try car sharing or looking at travelling outside of peak times.

“Just a small percentage of people changing the way they travel will make a big difference to journey times on Dorset’s roads.”