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Government announces 23m walking and cycling boost

The Department for Transport has announced it will invest 23m into walking and cycling across the UK.

21m of the funding will go towards upgrading significant on- and off-road sections of the UKs 16,000-mile National Cycle Network, which is currently used by 4.4 million people each year.

A further 2m will go towards wider projects encouraging walking and cycling, particularly among children and young people.

The transport minister Jesse Norman said: Cycling and walking are a key part of our plans to make transport cleaner, greener and more productive.

This funding will help ensure that everyone can enjoy wonderful routes which connect communities across the UK, and benefit from the huge health and environmental benefits of cycling.

21m of the DfT’s 23m investment will go towards upgrading the UK’s National Cycle Network.

The 23m investment will be allocated by the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which created the National Cycle Network.

Sustrans reviewed the Network for the first time last year and identified multiple ways it could be upgraded, dozens of which will now be funded by the 21m investment.

Activation projects the 21m will help include connecting current paths through Lincoln city centre, upgrading Whitbys Cinder Track North, and creating a new quiet-way route between Luton and Dunstable.

The other 2m will support broader initiatives such as Cycling UKs Big Bike Revival which engages those who own bikes but dont use them and an outreach programme by the walking charity Living Streets which encourages children to walk to school.

Living Streets scheme helped schools involved see a 30% increase in their walk-to-school rate last year, with the government aiming to see 55% of primary school children walking to school by 2025.

Xavier Brice, Chief Executive of Sustrans called the investment a vital boost in achieving a network of safe walking and cycling journeys for everyone.

Brice said: As the custodians of the National Cycle Network we are very excited by this investment in transforming crucial links for communities across England, making it easier for everyone to walk and cycle.

We look forward to working with local authorities and partner organisations around the country to improve peoples health, access to green spaces, and help our villages, towns and cities move sustainably.

This announcement is one of the governments recent initiatives aiming to reduce emissions across the UKs transport network as part of its new Clean Air Strategy.

Last month the DfT announced its 48m Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme which will fund 283 new zero-emission buses and related infrastructure in locations across the UK.

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