Up to £7 million in government money is to be invested in projects to improve road safety and to encourage the development of cycle-friendly areas in cities.
The funding has been announced as part of the Department for Transport’s cycle safety review, and is available to any one of the eight ‘cycle city ambition cities’ named within the government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Birmingham, Norwich, Manchester, Newcastle and Oxford.
The cities will be given the chance to bid for an additional £6.5 million of funding to trial new schemes which improve safety.
An additional £0.5 million will be set aside to support Cycling UK’s Big bike revival — an initiative aimed at helping to get more people cycling “safely and confidently” across the country, DfT has said.
Launching the additional round of funding in Bristol on Saturday (17 February), Cycling Minister Jesse Norman, said: “Everyone should be able to take advantage of the huge health and environmental benefits of cycling.
“While Britain has some of the safest roads in the world, we want to encourage more people to take up cycling. This funding, as part of our overall cycling and walking strategy, will help local councils to make their roads safer for everyone.”
Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Cycling UK, said: “Last year the big bike revival reached more than 50,000 people in England, and produced more than 6,000 regular cyclists, so the project represents incredible value for money.
“I’m delighted that the Department for Transport has recognised its significance by funding it for another year so we can get even more people cycling every day.”
Government published its long term Cycling and Walking Strategy in April 2017, aiming to double cycling, reduce cycling accidents and increase the proportion of 5 to 100 year-olds walking to school to 55% by 2025 (see airqualitynews.com story).
Around £1.2bn in funding has been set aside to support the strategy, with around £50 million to be used to provide cycling proficiency training for 1.3 million children; £85m to make improvements to roads for cyclists; and, £80m for safety and awareness training for cyclists, cycle storage, bike repair, maintenance courses and road safety measures.
DfT claims that the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will support the aims of its National Air Quality Plan for Nitrogen Dioxide, which has indicated that road transport is by far ‘the largest contributor to NO2 pollution in areas where the UK is exceeding NO2 limit values.’