Cambridge is to benefit from three new cycle routes next year, costing £1.7m to construct.
The tracks, up to 2.5m wide in most places, will be separated from the road by a metre of grass verge, and will contect the city with business paths to the south, in the hope that commuters will choose to ride to work.
The longest will run from Whittlesford station to Granta Park, home to firms including Pfizer and TWI.
Babraham Research Campus will donate £200,000 to another route, creating completely segregated cycling from Cambridge to the site, in the hope of attracting new companies to the area.
The third, which will be shared with horse riders, links Swavesey to Buckingway Business Park and Cambridge Services.
Most of the funding is coming from Cambridge’s £4.1m Cycle City Ambition government funding.
Cllr Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s cabinet member for growth, told Cambridge News: “Better transport links are vital in helping Cambridgeshire become a greener, healthier place to live, boosting our economy and reducing congestion. It’s great to see our ambitions as a county being recognised in this way by central government and to see local people and businesses benefit.”
Cambridge has the highest proportion of cyclists in the UK – half the people who live there cycle at least once a week, and one in five commuter trips are made by bicycle.
We reported earlier this summer how Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles claimed that parking charges in Cambridge are too high and disadvantage motorists, and suggested prioritising cyclists over motorists favours an “elite” rather than ordinary people who want to use cars to visit shops.
But Cambridge City Council said that local retailers support its transport policies, which are focused on improving cycling infrastructure as well as buses to make it easier for people to get around.
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.