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22 June, 2020

Road safety projects to be boosted by new fund from sale of AJ1 registration

£190,000 is to be invested in safety projects across North Yorkshire to make the county’s roads safer for everyone who use them and the communities they link.

The money comes from the sale of the AJ1 vehicle registration, the first number plate used in the North of Riding of Yorkshire when marks were introduced in 1903. It was used on the then Chief Constable’s car but was no longer in use. The current Chief Constable and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner agreed to sell it commercially at auction with the value invested for the good of North Yorkshire.

Part of the money has already been invested in improving the Memorial Garden in the middle of North Yorkshire Police Headquarters at Alverton Court. The remainder will be put into a new ‘AJ1 Project Fund’ to fund community road safety projects across the county.

A simple, one-off application process has been set up with a panel established to approve or reject bids. Members of the panel will include representatives of the 95 Alive Road Safety Partnership, which is made up of North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Highways Agency.

Projects will be asked to focus on improving road safety for children and young people, cyclists, motorcyclists and older road users with bids invited from Parish Councils and other community groups. One-off grants of up to £20,000 can be applied for and bids which include matched funding from other sources will be eligible to receive an additional 10 per cent on top of the amount requested.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said:

“When deciding to sell the AJ1 registration, we agreed it was important to invest the sale money in making communities safer and feeling safer, and that is what this AJ1 Project Fund aims to do.

“It will provide a focus on improving road safety for those who use our roads and those who live alongside them and allow communities – those who are best placed to know what changes are needed – to bid for the money needed to make the improvements happen.

“I would encourage Parish Councils and other groups to consider what would make a difference to residents and road users where they live and make an application to this fund.”

Chair of the 95Alive Road Safety Partnership Jon Foster said:

“I’m delighted that this money has been made available to fund road safety projects throughout the county. If you are a group with ideas for a project that could improve road safety please put an application in.”

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