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Clegg outlines £114m cycling plans

Words: Laura Edgar

Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg has laid out how a £114 million investment in cycling would be split between eight cities in England.

Clegg announced the funding at a cycling summit held in Bristol, in November last year.

The money, Clegg explained, will be used to deliver plans in each of the eight cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Cambridge, Norwich, Newcastle and Oxford – to increase the number of people cycling by improving and expanding cycle routes in key employment and retail sites and local communities.

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.

“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.

Proposed funding allocations (2015 to 2016 – 2017 to 2018)

Birmingham - £22 million

Bristol - £19 million

Cambridge - £6 million

Leeds - £22 million

Manchester - £22 million

Newcastle - £10.6 million

Norwich - £8.4 million

Oxford - £3.3 million

“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.”

Speaking to The Planner, Adrian Lord, infrastructure consultant to British Cycling, said: “The funding is great news for those eight cities and enables them to continue to plan and build better cycling routes for the next few years.

“At a press conference today, (2 March), transport minister Robert Goodwill expressed a desire to achieve the same levels of funding in other parts of England. Assured funding equivalent to £10 per head would enable local authorities to plan with more certainty.

“There are many other issues to tackle, however. Revenue funding to pay for maintenance of existing assets and staff to deliver new projects is severely constrained in many local authorities.

“Local political support for reallocation of roadspace for cycling is always a difficult problem. Some people will have to be prepared to risk their political reputations to spend this additional capital funding.”

These plans follow an announcement by Goodwill in February this year, when he dedicated £2.7 million to boost cycling in National Parks. The funding will towards creating additional cycle routes and improving links between parks.