Government to fund bicycles

UK Transport Minister John Spellar has unveiled plans to provide up to £2 million in funding for cycling projects across the country at the first meeting of the new National Cycling Strategy (NCS) Board.

The fund will be administered at a rate of up to £1 million a year for two years and will be used for projects including the creation of new cycle parking areas, improvements to existing cycle routes and the creation of new routes.

The NCS Board’s remit covers England, and it is intended to help ensure that work on the National Cycling Strategy is implemented. Steven Norris, former Conservative Transport Minister, chairs the Board. It will meet every two months, taking forward cycling initiatives annually to the new Cycling Forum for England (CFE).

The Board will focus on key tasks agreed annually with the CFE. This will involve co-ordinating and integrating contributions to the NCS from all relevant sectors, and monitoring progress on NCS outputs and targets.

“I am pleased that the Board is now fully operational, and has a clear focus on the task ahead,” Mr Spellar told the first meeting. “Dynamic action is needed to implement the National Cycling Strategy. I and my Department will give full support to the Board in identifying and unblocking obstacles to progress.”

The aim of the National Cycling Strategy, launched in 1996, is to establish a “culture favourable to the increased use of bicycles for all age groups; to develop sound policies and good practice; and seek out effective and innovative means of fostering accessibility by bike. Its main aims are to double the number of cycle trips (based on 1996 figures) by the end of 2002 and quadruple the amount by 2012.

The Strategy provides for better cycle access to key areas, increases in the amount of cycle parking, encouragement for local targets to increase cycling in

local transport plans, a recognition of the principle of cycle-friendly infrastructure in any relevant guidance, and improved cycle safety.

The Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DEFRA) Integrated Transport White Paper A new deal for transport: better for everyone recognised that the National Cycling Strategy highlighted the potential of cycling as a “flexible, relatively cheap and environmentally friendly way to travel that has important health benefits for people of all ages”.

For more information about grants under the funding scheme please e-mail:

[email protected].

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie