Norwich to share in £114m cycle safety cash from central government

Nick Clegg. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Nick Clegg. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Norwich is set to share in a £114m pot of cash designed to make roads safer for cyclists.

The peloton rides up Main Street as stage two of the Tour de France passes through Haworth, Yorkshir

The peloton rides up Main Street as stage two of the Tour de France passes through Haworth, Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. See PA story CYCLING Tour. Picture date: Sunday July 6, 2014. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The government has today announced the boost for eight cities, including Norwich, with cash split between the cities and phased over three years.

Funds would help speed up the development of local cycling networks, increase protection for cyclists at dangerous junctions and help prevent accidents.

It is not known how much of the £114m would go to Norwich; the other cities set to benefit are Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Oxford.

The money is part of a £214 million funding package announced by Nick Clegg, with £100m to be spent on improving conditions for cyclists and walkers along the strategic road network, some of Britain's most important and busiest routes.

Simon Wright

Simon Wright - Credit: Archant copyright 2011

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The Deputy Prime Minister said he wanted the country to become a nation of cyclists like Denmark or the Netherlands.

He said: 'I want to bring cycling down from the Alps and onto British streets.

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'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.'

The cash would be a shot in the arm for ongoing efforts to improve cycle routes, such as Norwich City Council's Push the Pedalways scheme.

Between 2013 and 2015, the streets, paths and junctions along the pink pedalway will be redesigned in consultation with the public, making it safer.

And the government announcement has been welcomed by the Fine City's two MPs.

Chloe Smith, who is a keen cyclist, said: 'I've campaigned for a long time alongside constituents for safer cycle facilities in Norwich, not only for cyclists but also for pedestrians.

'It can be that cyclists decide to use the pavement instead, which is a really unfair problem particularly for elderly people.'

The Norwich North MP added that she hope the cash would get more people cycling and cycling safely.

Simon Wright, MP for Norwich South, said: 'I very strongly welcome the announcement of more funding for cycling.

'It promotes healthy living and is good for the environment, by reducing the number of people using cars.

'I have much hope that with Norwich already in the top 10 cycling cities in the country it will encourage even more people to see the benefits of cycling.'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: 'Under this government the Department for Transport has doubled the amount money available for cycling.

'We want all new roads cycle-proofed, making cycling safer and encouraging awareness on our roads.

'This additional funding is about further improving the thousands of short journeys made by bicycle every day.'

Alongside the government measures, retail chain Halfords will recondition and donate bikes and helmets to primary school children in disadvantaged areas in the eight cycling cities.

The Bikeability cycling proficiency programme will also be enhanced.

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