16 November, 2020

AJ1 registration sale to boost road safety in dozens of North Yorkshire communities

The sale of the historic AJ1 vehicle registration, the first number plate used in the North Riding of Yorkshire, is to be used to support dozens of road safety projects across North Yorkshire and York.

90 were offered money from the AJ1 Road Safety Fund which was established after North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, supported by Chief Constable Lisa Winward, decided the value of the AJ1 mark was better invested in supporting communities.

The numberplate was sold commercially at auction last year with part of the money invested in improving the Memorial Garden at North Yorkshire Police headquarters and the remainder put into the new, one-off AJ1 Fund.

Communities, Parish and Town Councils were invited to put forward projects which focused on improving road safety for children and young people, cyclists, motorcyclists and older road users. There was huge demand with applications exceeding by four-times the amount available.

A one-off process was set up which included checks with North Yorkshire County Council’s Highways and Transportation Department to ensure viability, consultation with County Councillors and a panel making final decisions made up of representatives of the 95 Alive Partnership, including the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner; North Yorkshire Police; North Yorkshire County Council; City of York Council; and Highways England.

The panel have now awarded the £190,000 from the AJ1 Fund, and – due to the demand and standard of the bids – some additional money from other community funds, to support, either fully or partially, the projects put forward.

Applicants have been informed of the initial decision and asked if they wish to take forward their project with the funds allocated. Agreements will then be drawn up and discussions had about how to turn the approved projects into reality, which may include finding funding from other sources.

The road safety projects are located across the county and include:

  • 1 across North Yorkshire
  • 21 in Hambleton
  • 18 in Harrogate
  • 14 in Selby
  • 10 in Ryedale
  • 8 in Craven
  • 8 in Richmondshire
  • 8 in Scarborough
  • 4 in the City of York

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

“Communities across North Yorkshire and York tell me that improving the safety of the roads where they live is one of their main priorities, so I am pleased by the number and quality of the applications that were put forward to the AJ1 Fund.

“Although the AJ1 number plate will always have a historical connection to North Yorkshire Police, I strongly believe that it was right to use the value of the registration mark to make a real impact on people’s lives today, and I am confident these projects will do that.

“I look forward to seeing the impact they have on road users, residents and communities in the months and years ahead.”

Further details of the individual projects will be made available once agreements have been signed.

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