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£20m sounds a lot... but that's what they spend on 40 miles of motorway per year...

The Highways Agency is to invest £10 million a year for two years in strategic cycling improvements across the UK.

In a video, Matt Sweeting, from the Highways Agency, explains where the £20 million will be spent to upgrade cycling facilities on the UK’s roads over the next two years.

 

The money will help provide access over and under motorways where cyclists are unable to ride.

In the video, Mr Sweeting rides a path near Derby.

He says: “We wanted to solve an existing problem which had to do with there being residential areas and a business areas. A link in between them wasn’t very good so we came up with a scheme that made it easier for cyclists to get to and from work.”

Along with highways engineers, Mr Sweeting has worked to design and create the path, including providing cycle access across a railway bridge.

According to the Highways Agency, the money will provide

new road markings, cycle lane and crossing points
new fly­overs to connect existing national cycle routes
dropped kerbs and vegetation clearance
refreshed and new signage for cyclists and drivers

The Agency is working alongside Sustrans and British Cycling to identify locations where the money can be best spent and the improvements are to be completed by March 2015.

But large as £20 million might sound, the Highways Agency’s total budget for the 4,300 miles of roads it is responsible for (mainly motorways and trunk A-roads) in 2014-15 is £1.9 billion.

That investment is equivalent to £442,000 per mile of motorway per year; a striking contrast to the investment in cycling.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.