Transport minister Norman Baker has just announced the availability of £20 million to be spent on cycling infrastructure in the UK. Possible targets for the funding include improved cycle links, facilities at railway stations and improved road junctions.
“Following the success of the Olympics, there is a huge appetite for more cycling provision from the travelling public, and we need to capitalise on this enthusiasm at local and national level,” said Baker. “That is why we are investing £20 million in cycling infrastructure and getting councils to bring an end to silo working in their offices.”
The £20 million announced today is in addition to the £15 million announced over the summer, to be aimed at improving cycle safety at junctions. Schemes to be funded by the £20 million will be announced at a later date.
Most cycling projects are currently funded under the Department for Transport’s £560 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which includes money for a wide variety for schemes, including non-bike projects.
The announcement comes shortly after the Greater London Assembly called for a significant increase in cycle spending in the capital and for cycle spending to be targeted effectively, and was greeted by the following joint statement from two of the country’s leading cycling organisations:
“British Cycling and CTC welcome the announcement of much-needed investment in cycling – it is encouraging to see funding being allocated to improve conditions on the road. We now need to see real leadership right across government to get Britain cycling. If cycling is put at the heart of transport policy – so that all decisions are made with cycling in mind – we can create a cycling nation to rival countries like Denmark.”
Critics might point out that the funding continues the ‘piecemeal’ nature of money being allotted to cycling, as highlighted by former Cycling England chairman Philip Darnton in recent comments to BikeRadar.