Williams Welcomes £19million for Cycling in Bristol


Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, has welcomed the announcement of £19million to make cycling safer and easier in Bristol. 

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At a Cycling Summit in Bristol last November, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP announced £114million in extra funding for the Cycling Ambition Cities Programme, of which Bristol is one of 8 beneficiaries.

This week (Monday 2nd March) the Deputy Prime Minister announced how the £114million will be divided between all 8 cities, with Bristol securing £19million. The money will be used to help each city deliver plans to get more people cycling by improving and expanding cycle routes between the city centres, local communities and key employment and retail spots.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg 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. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce this investment for these major cities to make it easier for people to get around on 2 wheels.

“With the legacy of the 2012 Olympics and the Tour de France in Yorkshire last year still fresh in our minds, this money can help Britain become a cycling nation to rival the likes of Denmark and the Netherlands.

“Research shows us that boosting cycling could save billions of pounds otherwise spent on the NHS, reduce pollution and congestion, and create a happier and safer population.”

At the cycling summit in Bristol last year, attended by cycling experts and businesses from across the country, the Deputy Prime Minister also announced a £100 million investment to improve the conditions for cyclists and walkers travelling alongside and crossing Britain’s most important and busiest roads – what’s called the Strategic Road Network.

This brought the total investment in cycling by this government to £588 million by:

  • more than doubling funding for cycling to £374 million in 2011 to 2015 to improve cycling safety, infrastructure and availability and affordability of bikes for more people across the country
  • helping leverage an extra £248 million of local funding to deliver these programmes
  • giving 8 other major UK cities (Manchester, Bristol, Cambridge, Norwich, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Oxford) access to £94 million of grants to help them improve their cycling infrastructure and build a reputation as modern cycling cities

Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, said:

“Liberal Democrats have a great record of encouraging cycling in Bristol.  When we ran the Council we invested heavily in cycle safety measures and were awarded the accolade of UK Cycling City.  This was a key factor in our bid to become European Green Capital 2015.

“This further investment for cycling in Bristol shows that Liberal Democrats are serious in our commitment for Britain to become a cycling nation that can rival our European neighbours. We are doing this by making it safer and more convenient to cycle than ever before.”

Cllr Christian Martin, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Clifton East and Chair of the Council’s Place Scrutiny Commission, added:

 “This is a most welcomed announcement and one that reaffirms Liberal Democrat commitments to both the health and safety of our nation (and consequently our city) as well as our environmental credentials to improve air quality and encourage alternative use of different modes of transport.

 “When we ran the Council we achieved a sustained programme of public transport and cycling improvements and by 2012 cycling trips were up by 63% in the city. As both a car user and a cyclist any balanced improvements that make my cycling opportunities safer and more secure is fantastic.

 “Given our city’s previous award as the UK’s first ‘Cycling City’ and the number of people cycling to work in the city doubling in the last ten years, I embrace this extra funding. It could only have been secured with the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government.”

Notes

Proposed funding allocations (2015 to 2016 – 2017 to 2018)

City

Funding

Birmingham

£22 million

Bristol

£19 million

Cambridge

£6 million

Leeds

£22 million

Manchester

£22 million

Newcastle

£10.6 million

Norwich

£8.4 million

Oxford

£3.3 million

 Research commissioned by British Cycling (pdf), found 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

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