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27 November 2014, 08:15 | Updated: 27 November 2014, 08:18
A £214 million funding package to make cycling safer and more popular following the success of this year's Tour de France stages in Britain has been announced by Nick Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he wanted the country to become a nation of cyclists like Denmark or the Netherlands as he announced the funding for eight cities and the network of strategic roads.
He said: ``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.''
Some £114 million over the next three years will support the eight Cycling Ambition Cities - Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Oxford - accelerate development of local cycling networks, increase protection for cyclists at dangerous junctions and help prevent accidents.
Another £100 million will be invested over the next three years to improve the conditions for cyclists and walkers along the strategic road network, some of Britain's most important and busiest routes.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: ``Under this government the Department for Transport has doubled the amount of 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.
Former Olympic champion Chris Boardman, who was attending a cycling summit in Bristol alongside the Deputy Prime Minister, said: ``This is a great stepping stone on the road to creating a safer environment and enabling more Brits to choose cycling as their preferred mode of transport.''