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12 August 2013, 11:50
The Prime Minister's announced £77 million of funding to improve cycling in UK cities, including Newcastle.
The initiative includes plans to make roads safer for those on two wheels and means a number of English cities will get Government money for cycling schemes.
A total of £77 million will be divided between Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich.
Also, the New Forest, Peak District, South Downs and Dartmoor areas will each share a slice of £17 million funding for national parks.
With local contributions, the total new funding for cycling is £148 million between now and 2015.
The announcement includes a commitment from the Government to cut red tape that can stifle cycle-friendly road design and to encourage changes to the way roads are built or altered.
Councils will be expected to up their game to deliver infrastructure that takes cycling into account from the design stage.
David Cameron said:
"Following our success in the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Tour de France, British cycling is riding high - now we want to see cycling soar.
Our athletes have shown they are among the best in the world and we want to build on that, taking our cycling success beyond the arena and onto the roads, starting a cycling revolution which will remove the barriers for a new generation of cyclists.
This Government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up and business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this.''
New trunk road schemes that have a significant impact on cyclists, such as junction improvements or road-widening, will be 'cycle-proofed' so they can be navigated confidently by the average cyclist.
Significant junction upgrades and other improvements will help cyclists at 14 locations on the trunk road network where major roads can prove an obstacle for journeys by bike.
A total of £5 million will be invested in upgrades this year and a further £15 million will be invested in 2015/16, with plans in place for many more similar schemes.
This commitment to improved cycling facilities is intended to put Britain on a level-footing with countries known for higher levels of cycling like Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.