Nottingham council has announced that Castle Boulevard is to be the location of the city’s first cycle superhighway. The east-west route is just one part of the work resulting from £6.1m of Cycle City Ambition funding.
A £1m two-lane corridor separating cyclists from traffic is planned as well as a number of new cycle routes in the city centre designed to keep cyclists off busy main roads.
John Bann, cycling and road space transformation manager at Nottingham City Council, told the Nottingham Post: "You've heard of the London cycle superhighways and I think we are taking that as a guide. We want express cycle routes for commuters to get into the city centre from four points of the compass."
The Castle Boulevard stretch will form part of the east-west route which will run from the university, through the city and onto Daleside Road. A separate north-south route is also planned running from Bulwell to Clifton via the City Hospital and city centre.
Hugh McClintock, from pressure group Pedals, was cautiously optimistic about the plans. "A lot of shared paths were developed 20-25 years ago and aren't fit for purpose. We'll wait for the detail, but in principle these corridors are something we are keen on and will be great for Nottingham's cyclists."
Money will also be put towards expansion of the CityCard bike hire scheme. CityCard was at one point under threat after it was found that fewer than one bicycle a day had been hired in the six months since it was first launched.
While 2011 census data revealed that 3.39 per cent of people living in Nottingham used a bike as their main way to commute to work – well above the national average – that represented an 8 per cent drop on a decade earlier, with Nottingham the only major city in England to experience a decline over the period.
However, Jane Urquhart, the city council's portfolio holder for planning and transportation, said that great strides had been made since then.
"I'm a keen cyclist along with other key people at the council, including the leader and chief executive, so we're passionate about investing in cycling. We've seen cycling in Nottingham increase by 33 per cent over the past four years and this further investment in improvements will encourage even more people to get on their bikes."