Transport Minister Sadiq Khan has announced the recipients of the final tranche of the government’s £60 million cycling budget for the current year. England’s Cycling Demonstration Towns, the Peak District National Park, and Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, are each set to get a share of the £10 million available. The cash will finance new routes, as well as other features such as parking facilities.
Announcing the funding, Mr Khan said: “The new money for the Cycling Demonstration Town and the Peak District National Park represents a great opportunity for people to join the cycling revolution. By getting more people cycling, we can help tackle congestion and pollution, as well as helping to promote health and fitness.”
The six Cycling Demonsration Towns, which share £3 million, are Aylesbury, Brighton & Hove, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster. A survey showed 27% more trips by bike being made there and growth in the number of new cyclists, with Mr Khan saying, "I have been hugely pleased with the Cycle Demonstration Town project and these results prove that when you provide the right facilities and support, more people will get on their bikes.”
Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England, said, “this is fantastic news for our demonstration programme. Cycling England and the Department for Transport set out in 2005 with six cycling towns to show that investing in cycling can deliver real impact – in tackling congestion and pollution, and improving health.”
He added, “the results from the original six towns, and the promise shown by the new wave of 11 additional cycling towns and one cycling city alongside other cycling demonstration projects such as the Peak District National Park, give us great confidence we can make a real difference to the travel culture of the UK.”
Mr Khan also revealed that Sustrans would benefit from £6 million additional funding “to install cycle parking and build cycling and walking links to schools, making it easier for children, and others living nearby, to travel on foot or by bike.”
The remaining £1 million is going towards a proposed cycle trail from Buxton to Bakewell through the Peak District, following a railway line – including four tunnel sections – that was closed in the 1960s, and envisages cyclists arriving at each end by train, then getting on their bikes. The trail would also link with the existing Monsal, High Peak and Tissington Trails.
Additional funding for the £3.785 million project is coming from Cycling England, which has committed £1.25 million, while The Peak District National Park Authority is asking Derbyshire County Council for additional funding.
The national park’s director of operations, Richard Campen, welcomed the funding, saying that the project “will create both a spectacular cycling route and a realistic alternative to the car, enabling more people to make healthy choices for themselves and for the environment,” and that it would “also benefit local tourism businesses with rail and cycle-based travel packages.”
Finally the DfT also announced that it was producing a best practice guide on sustainable travel initiatives for consideration under their third Local Transport Plans, and which would assist them in meeting sustainable transport targets.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.