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Cycling loses £23m of money pledged to improve infrastructure in latest round of government cuts

Cycle City Ambition budget suffers as the Department for Transport makes significant cuts to its budget

A £23m ‘underspend’ on Cycle City Ambition grants can be expected as the Department for Transport looks to cut its budget by £545m, reports The Guardian.

In March we reported how Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester would each receive £22 million as part of a second wave of Cycle City Ambition funding worth £114m in total. However, not all of the money pledged will actually be spent after George Osborne announced cost-cutting measures with a view to meeting new departmental budget targets.

The Department for Transport is being asked to reduce its budget by £545m and while around £345 of this is likely to be raised by selling off land around King’s Cross, cycling has been earmarked for a significant ‘underspend’.

Further savings will be made by cutting £124m from contingency money (the financial buffer for overspend or for when things going wrong); a £31m reduction in Transport for London funding; a £16m underspend on the Regional Air Connectivity fund; a £5m underspend on the Stations Commercial Projects Facility; and a £1m underspend on the Sheffield Tram Train Project.

In August 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron announced £77 million of Cycle City Ambition funding, a large proportion of which went to Greater Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. A further £17 million was also made available to boost cycling in National Parks.

The second wave of funding saw the same three places set to gain an additional £22m along with Bristol (£19 million), Newcastle (£10.6 million), Norwich (£8.4 million), Cambridge (£6 million) and Oxford (£3.3 million). The funding was announced by then Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who said: “We are in the midst of a cycling revolution in the UK but we need to make sure we’re in the right gear to see it through.”

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