The North East is set to benefit from £8.29 million in "high-quality" walking, wheeling and cycling routes, it has been revealed.

The projects, funded by Active Travel England, have been designed to benefit all communities, giving residents healthier, cheaper and more sustainable transport options.

The fund will also support good local consultation and local authorities will work closely with residents to ensure new routes are attractive and inclusive for all.

Safety and accessibility are at the heart of the newly funded projects to give even more people the choice to travel by walking, wheeling or cycling.

Active Travel England says, giving communities in the North East safe and accessible walking and cycling routes eases congestion, reduces air pollution and gives people healthier, cheaper, and more sustainable transport options.

In the North East the £8.29 million funding package is made up of: £6.4 million of capital funding from the Active Travel Fund 4 Extension £1.89 million of revenue from the Capability Fund Across England, £1 million will be allocated to develop walking, wheeling and cycling plans for ten National Parks, including Northumberland National Park.

At Darlington Station, the Western Gateway project will be regenerated, making it easier for passengers to access the station by walking or wheeling and creating pleasant places for travellers and visitors to enjoy.

In Durham, The North Durham Active Travel Corridor will link the city centre with Durham Moor in the south and the Arnison Centre in the north.

The new cycle route will be separate from motor traffic and improve connectivity between New College Durham, Framwellgate School, residential areas in Pity Me and Framwellgate Moor, and the Sniperley Development Site.

Improvements to existing walking and cycling routes and improved junctions on the Tyne Bridge will give cyclists and pedestrians better routes between Newcastle and Gateshead and provide an additional 70 cycle parking spaces.

National Active Travel Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “This funding will give communities in the North East safer and more enjoyable ways to travel to school, work and the shops.

"It will also help local authorities work with residents to develop plans that work for them. This will ensure that communities will reap the most benefits from projects and provide excellent value for money for councils.

“Local leaders know their communities best, which is why it’s so important this funding is in local hands to make the biggest impact.

"The whole community will benefit from these projects, which aim to deliver safer streets where children can travel to school independently and disabled people can travel confidently, high-quality cycle routes that can be used by both grandparents and their grandkids, and pleasant places where everyone has the choice to use the transport that suits them.”

Roads Minister Guy Opperman, said: “We’re committed to ensuring people can travel in the way that works best for them, which is why we’re investing over £100 million for over 100km of new walking and cycling routes, improved access to our national parks, and e-cycle loan schemes.

“This funding is not just an investment in new infrastructure, but in communities that will benefit from the social mobility and health benefits that improved and new walking and cycling routes will bring.”

This is the first-time specific allocations for local authorities have been revealed.

The money, which comes from a range of funding pots, paves the way for improvements over the 23/24 and 25/26 periods.