In a strange turn of events today, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is expected to announce something that’s actually interesting.
The Lib Dem leader is announcing that £214 million is going to be invested in cycling in the UK, to go towards increasing road safety and furthering the popularity of the sport.
The Highways Agency are set to get £100 million from the pot, which will go towards the safety side of things. They’re also rumoured to be looking at installing cycle paths alongside motorways, a pretty appealing idea which would no doubt piss drivers off to no end.
The remaining £114 million is to be split over the next three years between the eight cities who are already part of the Cycle City Ambition Programme.
The cities included are; Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Norwich, but it’s not yet known how the money will be divided between each yet or how much each will receive.
In general though, the money will go towards growing cycle networks, increasing protection for cyclists – particularly at junctions – and helping increase safety measures further in busy areas.
Speaking on the funding project, Clegg 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.”
That’s right, since the Olympics, people have actually been cycling to work and to school – and to the shops! This could only be a direct result of inspiration from the Games and the Tour of course.
Fair play to Cleggy though, it’s a good start, and it is the biggest single investment ever in UK cycling.
Despite the new funding though, Sustran’s Chief Exec Malcolm Shepherd and CTC Chief Exec Paul Tuohy are still calling for more cash, arguing that the sum granted is proportionately small when you look at the growing number of cyclists across the UK.