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Eight cities invited to bid for share of £6.5m in latest round of Cycle City Ambition funding

New research by Cycling UK reveals £23 per person cost to tackle obesity

The eight cities to have benefited from Cycle City Ambition funding have been invited to bid for a share of an additional £6.5m. £500,000 of funding has also been announced for Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival.

In August 2013, 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 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).

All eight cities have now been invited to bid for a share of an additional £6.5m. The Department for Transport says it will be looking to support schemes which improve safety for cyclists and which also deliver benefits for pedestrians.

Cycling Minister Jesse Norman said: “Everyone should be able to take advantage of the huge health and environmental benefits of cycling.

“While Britain has some of the safest roads in the world, we want to encourage more people to take up cycling. This funding, as part of our overall cycling and walking strategy, will help local councils to make their roads safer for everyone.”

A further £500,000 has been set aside to support Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival project – an initiative helping to get more people cycling safely and confidently across the country.

Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive of Cycling UK, said: “Last year the Big Bike Revival reached more than 50,000 people in England, and produced more than 6,000 regular cyclists, so the project represents incredible value for money.

“I’m delighted that the Department for Transport has recognised its significance by funding it for another year so we can get even more people cycling every day.”

Every year, the NHS spends around £5.1bn treating illnesses directly attributable to obesity – a sum that work out around £77 per person in the UK.

The Big Bike Revival resulted in 18,500 people cycling more regularly last year – for a cost of only £23.81 per person.

Tuohy added: “It’s incredible that for only £23 a person, we can get more people cycling and tackle a health crisis that’s costing the NHS billions of pounds every year.

“The Big Bike Revival represents incredible value for money, and I’m delighted that the Department for Transport has recognised the significance of the project by funding it for another year so we can get more people cycling every day.

“It’s not only the health benefits. More people cycling can only have a positive impact on our environment. Every year, it’s estimated that air pollutions costs the UK economy up to £10 billion, so it also has a big environmental and financial impact.”

Launched in 2015, the Big Bike Revival enables people to get their unused bikes back into working order with free cycle checks, servicing and cycle maintenance, and also involves training and accompanied rides to help people build confidence cycling.

In 2017, events were held in 136 locations, with 37 per cent of people taking part coming from the most deprived areas of the country.

As well as developing more regular cyclists, around 45 per cent of those who participated said they now felt safer cycling.

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