THE COUNCIL has faced more criticism after it was revealed it only secured half of the government money it bid for to support cycling and walking in the county.

Worcestershire County Council has been awarded £135,500 from the Department for Transport's active travel bid to support several cycling and walking routes - half of the £271,000 it initially asked for.

The announcement the council would only be receiving half of the money came after Cllr Alan Amos, the county council's cabinet member for highways, said a "“full, extensive and exciting” bid had been prepared.

The news angered many who criticised the council for lacking ambition and failing to address the crux of the funding.

Councillor Tom Collins, who represents the city's Rainbow Hill ward, tweeted: "We don’t need parking, we don’t need maps and we don’t need signs. We need continuous, segregated cycle ways throughout urban areas. Make cycling safe. We can make green, active travel the default - try!"

The government money will allow the council to make some improvements to cycling routes between Fernhill Heath and Blackpole, Malvern and Worcester as well as others in the rest of the county.

Cllr Amos said the government money would also allow the council provide secure cycle parking in new areas where none currently exists and help provide digital signs for cycling and walking routes.

County councillor Matthew Jenkins, who has long called for more investment in cycling in the county, said: "It doesn't bode well. Imagine if this happens again in the second bid which is for a million pounds," he said. "That could be a lot of money that would come in very handy.

"It's disappointing because some councils actually received more than they had asked for.

"The problem is that when you take the attitude that we can't possibly take any space off the roads then the [council] officers are restricted in what they can actually put in the bid. They had their hands tied behind their back. If they just don't believe in [cycling] then it is never going to happen."