Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he wants to start ‘a cycling revolution’ building on the success of the Olympics, Paralympics and two consecutive Tour de France wins. £94m in cycling funding will benefit a number of English cities including Leeds and Bristol and four of our national parks – the Peak District, the South Downs, Dartmoor and the New Forest.
In addition to a commitment to cutting red tape the cities funding (which will total £77m) will be used to both improve existing cycle schemes and fund new routes. By way of example Manchester, the biggest recipient of Department for Transport funding (£20m supplement by £11.1m local contributions) will gain some 56km of new or improved city-wide cycle routes, whilst at the other end of the scale Oxford will see improvements to a single roundabout system funded to the tune of £0.8m TdF money and £0.6m local authority cash. The eight cities receiving DtF funding are: Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich.
The four national parks will share the remaining £17m with the Peak District taking £5m for four new cycle routes, Dartmoor (£4.4m) gaining or seeing improvements to almost 190miles of family-friendly routes, the South Downs gaining 34miles of new routes and improved access (£3.8m), and the New Forest taking £3.6m for docking stations and a new cycling centre.
However not everyone has applauded Cameron’s intentions with the charge being led by shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle MP who told the BBC that: ‘No amount of cynical spin from David Cameron will make up for the fact that, immediately on taking office, he axed Cycle England, the Cycle Demonstration Towns scheme and the annual £60m budget to support cycling that he inherited.’ Eagle also points out: ‘Only last month the prime minister set out plans for Britain’s roads that failed to include a single commitment to the investment in separated cycling infrastructure that is the best way to boost cycling and make it