Devon gets £2 million funding boost from Cycling England

New cash additional to £25 million already pledged by county council

by Simon_MacMichael   December 14, 2009  

Devon County Council logo.jpg

Cycling England has given Devon County Council’s plans to transform itself into a “cycling county” a boost with a £2 million grant to help fund the promotion of cycling as a leisure activity and discover whether this gets more people to take to two wheels.

The new cash injection is additional to the £25 million that the county council pledged last month for extending existing cycling infrastructure and encouraging holidaymakers to visit Devon with their bicycles.

According to the Mid Devon Star, the latest grant, which comes from Cycling England’s Finding New Solutions project, will help the council develop cycling hubs across the county in places such as Barnstaple, Exeter, Exmouth and Tavistock, allowing access to cycle networks through a variety of modes of transport.

The money will also be used to monitor the effectiveness of those hubs in increasing levels of bicycle traffic, and in finding out what has given people the impetus to cycle in the first place, as well as improving infrastructure such as signage, bicycle parking and bike hire facilities.

Funding will also be made available for a study into how links to the national rail network can be improved to get more cyclists to take their bikes on trains. Funds will also be made available for a marketing campaign promoting leisure cycling facilities in the county.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, told the Mid Devon Star: “This is an ambitious project but we’re fortunate in Devon to already have hundreds of miles of family-friendly cycle trails.

“We already have a sizeable investment in place to improve cycle routes across Devon as part of our new cycling strategy, and this additional funding not only recognises what we have already achieved but will ensure we’re well placed to become a cycling county,” he added.

The county council is not just investing in leisure cycling either, and has confirmed that the Tour of Britain is due to return to Devon in 2010, following the success of it jointly hosting two stages of the Tour of Britain with neighbouring Somerset earlier this year. The South West will again host two stages of the race, with provisional dates of Thursday 16th and Friday 17th September.

 

1 user comments

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I live in Devon

I commute to work every day, over the border to Somerset

I can tell you straight off the 3 reasons why not many people cycle in Devon

As well as the two problems that everyone has there is an additional special one to put people off cycling in Devon

The first problem is that cars are often driven inconsiderately. Facing the risk of death or injury from a motor vehicle puts many people off cycling.

The second problem is with the bizarre way that funding goes into the painting of lines near the gutter or signposting 25% hills covered in cowshit as "cycle paths". Whilst there is a proportion of this that is welcomed by less confident cyclist and more confident alike much of it is providing a facility of no utility or benefit.

These two things aren't restricted to Devon. The special problem in Devon is the hills. I have a book from the 1930s about how to get into cycling. They say that a bike with gears isn't really necessary, might be nice but a single speed is perfectly ok really. Then there is a footnote. "except if you live in Devon". News flash: Devon is still the same as it was. I don't see that any amount of money is going to make Devon any flatter!

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posted by vorsprung [285 posts]
15th December 2009 - 13:24

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