British Deputy Prime Minister announces multi-million pound boost for cycling in 8 major cities
The £114 million investment will make it easier and safer for people to get on their bikes
London: Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Birmingham, Norwich, Newcastle, Oxford and Cambridge all submitted their bids for the funding which was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister of UK Nick Clegg at a dedicated cycling summit in November last year.
The money will be used to help each city deliver plans to get more people cycling by improving and expanding cycle routes between the city centres, local communities and key employment and retail spots.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
We are in the midst of a cycling revolution in the UK but we need to make sure we’re in the right gear to see it through. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce this investment for these major cities to make it easier for people to get around on 2 wheels.
With the legacy of the 2012 Olympics and the Tour de France in Yorkshire last year still fresh in our minds, this money can help Britain become a cycling nation to rival the likes of Denmark and the Netherlands.
Research shows us that boosting cycling could save billions of pounds otherwise spent on the NHS, reduce pollution and congestion, and create a happier and safer population.
At the cycling summit last year, attended by cycling experts and businesses from across the country, the Deputy Prime Minister also announced a £100 million investment to improve the conditions for cyclists and walkers travelling alongside and crossing Britain’s most important and busiest roads – what’s called the Strategic Road Network.
This brought the total investment in cycling by this government to £588 million by:
- more than doubling funding for cycling to £374 million in 2011 to 2015 to improve cycling safety, infrastructure and availability and affordability of bikes for more people across the country
- helping leverage an extra £248 million of local funding to deliver these programmes
- giving 8 other major UK cities (Manchester, Bristol, Cambridge, Norwich, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Oxford) access to £94 million of grants to help them improve their cycling infrastructure and build a reputation as modern cycling cities
Proposed funding allocations in UK (2015 to 2016 – 2017 to 2018)
Research commissioned by British Cycling (pdf) found that if the UK became a cycling nation like the Netherlands or Denmark it could:
* save the NHS £17 billion within 20 years * reduce road deaths by 30% * increase mobility of the nation’s poorest families by 25% * increase retail sales by a quarter
Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill said:
Cycling is great for your health and good for the environment, and this government is doing all it can to help more people get out on their bikes.
We have doubled the amount of money available for cycling and taken steps to make sure that future governments plan properly for cycling.
This investment shows our continued commitment to making cycling even easier and safer, and our ambition to help make these cities better for cycles.
In the meanwhile, Nick Clegg is in the centre of a major controversy after reports made public a draft copy of the Liberal Democrat leader’s manifesto which includes a pledge to end all prosecutions for possession of soft drugs.