The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been in Bristol to announce a huge investment in cycling to help make it easier and safer for people to get on their bikes.
He wants to see the number of journeys made by bike more than doubled from 800 million to at least 1,600 million by 2020
Bristol will be getting a substantial share of the £214m grant which will include £114m to secure funding to support the Cycling Cities Programme for the next three years - that's Bristol, alongside Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Oxford.
It will mean money to develop local cycling networks, increase protection for cyclists at junctions and traffic hot spots and to help prevent accidents.
£100 million investment over the next years to improve the conditions for cyclists and walkers travelling alongside and crossing the country's busiest roads – what’s called the Strategic Road Network.
I want to bring cycling down from the Alps and onto British streets. The inspiration and legacy of the 2012 Olympics and the Tour de France starting in Yorkshire this year has started a revolution in cycling for everyone, not just in velodromes, not necessarily in lycra, but for going to school or to work or to the shops. I’m committed to helping our dream of becoming a cycling nation, similar to places like Denmark and the Netherlands, become a reality. The rewards could be massive. Billions of pounds in savings for the NHS, less pollution and congestion, and a happier and safer population. In Government, we’re putting the money down, now we need the public and local authorities to jump on their bikes and get us to the finish line.
The Prime Minister also wants to encourage a new generation of cyclists. He announced a recycling scheme through Halfords supplying reconditioned bikes and helmets to children in disadvantaged areas of the Cycling Cities. He also announced an extension to the Bikeability programme.
Chris Boardman, who won a gold medal in cycling at the 1992 Olympics was also backing the move to get Bristol - and Britain - on their bikes from an early age.
I think we can do better. We can make it a requirement for local authorities to provide safe cycling. Few do it as well as in Bristol.
Research by British Cycling has found that getting Bristol on bicycles will pay big dividends. It showed that if the UK became a cycling nation like the Netherlands or Denmark it could:
save the NHS £17 billion within 20 years
reduce road deaths by 30%
increase mobility of the nation’s poorest families by 25%
increase retail sales by a quarter
Clearly a win win situation and one that is being embraced by the Deputy Prime Minister
Watch the full report by Tim Walsh here: