Government announces £214m investment in cycling

12.00 | 27 November 2014 | | 7 comments

What the Government is describing as “the biggest single investment in cycling” was unveiled last week by Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, to “help make it easier and safer to get on your bike in the UK”.

In July, Nick Clegg said he wanted to see the number of journeys made by bike more than doubled by 2020. Today, at a cycling summit in Bristol, he will unveil a package of measures totalling £214m.

£114m will be used to support the Cycling Ambition Cities Programme (Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Oxford) for the next three years. The money will be used to futher develop local cycling networks and improve protection for cyclists at junctions and traffic hot spots.

£100m will be used to improve the conditions for cyclists and walkers travelling alongside and crossing Britain’s strategic road network.

This latest funding brings the current Government’s total investment in cycling to £588m.

Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, said: “I want to bring cycling down from the Alps and onto British streets. The inspiration and legacy of the 2012 Olympics and the Tour de France starting in Yorkshire this year has started a revolution in cycling for everyone, not just in velodromes, not necessarily in lycra, but for going to school or to work or to the shops.

“I’m committed to helping our dream of becoming a cycling nation, similar to places like Denmark and the Netherlands, become a reality.

“The rewards could be massive. Billions of pounds in savings for the NHS, less pollution and congestion, and a happier and safer population.

“In Government, we’re putting the money down: now we need the public and local authorities to jump on their bikes and get us to the finish line.

On top of the investment, Nick Clegg is also launching two new initiatives designed to help inspire a new generation of cyclists.

The first is a new scheme from Halfords under which bikes and helmets will be reconditioned and donated to primary school children in disadvantaged areas of the eight current cycling cities (listed above).

The second is a new pilot scheme to enhance the Bikeability cycle training programme to provide extra training to schools and parents, each designed to address a specific barrier to cycling.

Chris Boardman MBE, Olympic gold medallist and British Cycling policy advisor, said: “This is a great stepping stone on the road to creating a safer environment and enabling more Brits to choose cycling as their preferred mode of transport.

“The new funds are fantastic for the eight cycling cities, giving them more security to plan for the next three years, and I thoroughly welcome the announcement.

“If we want to a cycling revolution, something I truly believe we can achieve, we have to invest in it, commit to it long term.

“The next step is to make investment like this one a permanent, embedded and an ongoing part of our transport strategy. If we do, then the benefits for our nation’s health, wealth and environment will be monumental.”



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    Nick Clegg says “I’m committed to helping our dream of becoming a cycling nation”.

    So Mr Clegg how many miles do you or your family cycle a week? While Britain’s roads are turned into cycle tracks, how about those too old, in poor health etc, how are they supposed to get about?

    Ask any owner of a stately home/gardens etc to close their car park and see if they can survive by those within cycling distance. They would not, it is only people that have arrived by car, that has preserved our heritage. What is going to be the cost to the nation as trucks are slowed to Edwardian speed limits when trying to deliver the goods we all demand. We are Europe’s third biggest car manufacturer, we lead the world in race car design, expertise and all the high tech spin off industries, does he think that producing a few bicycles will produce similar tax, jobs and export rewards?

    Terry Hudson, Kent
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    Like others I do not know if this is new money or a pre election announcement. (There will be many). The minister says “I want to bring cycling down from the Alps… and onto British streets for going to school or to work or to the shops.” So why is there a quote from a former British racing cyclist? Do we not have a cycling celebrity that is not connected to sports cycling? 40 years ago Sir Ridley Scott made a young cyclist famous for pushing his bike uphill with a basket of Hovis. Maybe we could find him.


    Peter Westminster
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    Are there really five people out there who don’t want taxpayers money distributed equitably? If there are, perhaps they would put an alternative case forward for consideration.

    Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton
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    I am a bit worried about Halfords re conditioning old or worn helmets. I don’t think that a used helmet is a good idea. Have they any knowledge or expertise to determine whether a helmet is safe? Do they have a full history of how it may have been abused or manhandled, dropped etc? I don’t think that is a good idea and one I feel some parents, if they knew this, will be concerned about it. Considering it’s their children who will suffer it it fails to do its job properly. Or a child suffers a head injury and whilst with no fault of the helmet the parents sue believing the helmet to be faulty. Good intention but bad idea to me.

    Bob Craven, Space is Safe campaigner
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    Just a drop in the ocean. It’s going to be many billions more over the next 6 years. And after. Has anyone decided yet if it’s going to be segregation or integration? According to a recent German study of the Netherlands, separation is more dangerous as it does not enable riders to cope with traffic once they are confronted with it and visa versa. So following that argument one could presume it will subsequently lead to more and more incidents and collisions and therefore subsequently more deaths and serious injury accidents. Maybe the health services should be recruiting more staff which is good news, but anticipate a greater need for their services and the additional costs to the NHS that cycling incidents will incur.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I welcome this. Great news but needs to roll out in rural areas too.

    Valerie Miller, Saltburn, Yorkshire
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    I’m unclear whether this is simply a confirmation of the outcomes of the Cycle City Ambition Grant allocation of 2013 or if it represents new money. But I’m living in hope that eventually there will be a more equitable distribution of resources so that the revolution can take place in all parts of the UK.

    Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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