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Government pledges to make cycling safer in cities

Coalition Government pledges a total of £148 million up to 2015 to encourage people to cycle as an alternative to driving

The government has announced funding worth £148 million to encourage a greater number of people to cycle, rather than drive on England’s roads, including £77 million to make cycling safer in cities.

The announcement made yesterday (August 12) also includes a commitment from the government to cut red tape preventing cycle-friendly road design and to encourage changes to the way roads are built or altered.

A total of £77m funding has been awarded to make cycling safer in cities

A total of £77m funding has been awarded to make cycling safer in cities

Counils will be expected to put greater emphasis on delivering infrastructure that takes cycling into account from the design stage.

Prime Minister David Cameron, said: “This government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up and business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this.â€?

New trunk road schemes that have a significant impact on cyclists, such as junction improvements or road-widening, will be ‘cycle-proofed’ so they can be navigated confidently by the average cyclist.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, said: “We have seen a significant growth in the number of cyclists in London over the last few years. But cycling shouldn’t be confined to the capital.

“Today’s announcement shows we are absolutely committed to boosting cycling in cities and the countryside across the whole of England. I want to help open up cycling t more people and these measures to make cycling safer on our roads are an important part of that.â€?

Funding

The Prime Minister announced allocations from the government’s fund to make cycling easier and safer for people in the following urban areas which include the three largest cities outside of London:

  • Greater Manchester £20 million
  • West Yorkshire £18.1 million
  • Birmingham £17 million
  • West of England £7.8 million
  • Newcastle £5.7 million
  • Cambridge £4.1 million
  • Norwich £3.7 million
  • Oxford £0.8 million

The commitment to improved cycling facilities is intended to put Britain on a level-footing with countries known for higher levels of cycling like Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

According to the government only 2% of trips in the UK are made by bike, compared with 14% in Germany and almost a third in the Netherlands. This is despite the fact that 43% of people own or have access to a bike in Britain and 38% of people could just as easily cycle for short trips than use a car.

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