Transport Minister Norman Baker has today announced a £62 million pound investment from the Government to make cycling in England a more attractive transport option.

Up to three cities will be invited to bid for a fund of up to £30 million for improving cycling conditions in urban areas.

The Community Linking Places fund has also been given a £15 million boost to support cycle-rail integration and community cycling.

Another £12 million is being made available for cycling schemes in National Parks, while £5 million will be added to a fund already earmarked to tackle dangerous junctions.

In a statement issued by the Department for Transport, Baker said:

“We are serious about cycling, as this latest wave of funding shows. We have already seen how schemes can quickly deliver economic and environmental benefits, as well as improving public health.



“Our ambition is to get people cycling more safely and more often and today’s announcements will help us to make that vision a reality.”



According to the statement, facilities at Brighton, Redhill, Upminster, Nottingham and Leicester stations are all set to benefit from the funding.



The news comes as the second evidence session of the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ parliamentary inquiry takes place in Westminster today.

British Cycling have issued a statement saying that they welcome the package but that “it doesn’t go far enough if we want to get Britain cycling at the levels seen in countries like Holland and Denmark.”



British Cycling’s Director for Policy and Legal Affairs, Martin Gibbs, said:

 

“We welcome this development and it’s a credit to Norman Baker that he is securing this increased funding for cycling infrastructure – but what we need is long term, sustained investment and a strategy to put cycling at the heart of transport policy.

“The total funding package works out at less than £1 pound per head of the population. The Dutch spend £25 pounds per head per year and have been doing so for decades. Cycling is now part of their culture with 43% of people in Amsterdam cycling to work. We need to match that level of funding to get Britain cycling.”

Speaking to Cycling Weekly, CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Director Roger Geffen said that the charity also welcomed the announcement and were particularly pleased that money had been specifically earmarked for cycling – something the Government was ruling out only a year ago.



“The Government does need to think about ramping up funding, though,” he added. “They also need to be more consistent. Only with a steady and dependable stream of cycling funding, will local authorities be able to develop expertise needed to move cycling forward.”

Related links

What is ‘Get Britain Cycling’?



Cycling experts present evidence to Parliament



The Times campaign: one year on






How Britain has failed cycling


Comment: Cycling takes centre stage at Westminster

 

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  • J Blue

    Accidents would be best avoided by obliging all drivers to take cycle training including personal urban and country road experience.
    How can our Government not see that this is necessary?!

  • andrew

    The country is covered with the old branch line railway network, mostly over grown, this could easily be opened up, surfaced and link towns together via a relatively flat cycle paths.
    I live in a small town in Northamptonshire, the old branch lines run to all the local towns and from there link up to other towns. City center cycle paths are expensive and do little to increase cycling, it makes it more pleasent for cyclists already riding to work but it doesn’t encourage more people to cycle instead of drive. If you have to drive from one town to another your unlikely to switch to a bike to complete your journey but if you can start your journey on your bike it’s going to make a big difference and the slightly reduced traffic in towns will probably make the roads more cycle friendly than and junction improvement.

  • Richard Norman

    How many more people will be killed and discouraged from cycling in Britain before local authorities and governments of all political persuasion are prepared to truly commit to making cycling safe in Britain.

    I fear that this money, though welcome, will be swallowed by administration, planning, setting up committees etc, leaving little for infra-structure.

    I live abroad and have been fortunate to cycle in many countries in Europe, few have such dismal facilities as in UK.

    Cycling is understandably fashionable and will become more popular, perhaps it is time for one of the high profile stars to back a safer cycling campaign?

  • Ken Evans

    “….cycle-rail integration….”—–People have been going on about this for decades, but nothing ever seems to change ! Bike-parking at rail stations is needed, as are cycle-friendly trains. Other countries in Europe can do this, why not the UK ?

  • Keith Bingham

    This shows that the government is still off the pace and twiddling low gears when it
    comes to providing decent investment to make cycling safer on British roads.
    £62m! I read recently it will take £1bn for this country to get close to the level of cycling
    provision on the Continent.
    It’s time the cycling organisations got nasty and organised mass protest rides that choke up London.

  • Simon Wood

    About one 500th of what they’re putting in to HS2

  • Ashley Bard

    It’s a great start. Good job Norman.