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2 March 2015, 06:00 | Updated: 2 March 2015, 07:49
The Deputy Prime Minister has announced a £10 million investment in cycling in Newcastle.
The move follows an announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister at his cycling summit last November to extend funding for eight cycling cities across the country to the tune of £115 million.
In January this year Newcastle successfully bid for a share of the money, secured in the Autumn Statement, by submitting plans to expand and improve pedestrian and cycle networks making it easier for people to get to work from in and around the city.
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 Newcastle to make it easier for people to get around on two 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 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 £588m by:
· more than doubling funding for cycling to £374m in 2011-15 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 drive these programmes
· giving Newcastle and 7 other major UK cities (Manchester, Bristol, Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds, Norwich and Oxford) access to £94 million of grants to help them improve their cycling infrastructure and build a reputation as modern cycling cities.
Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill said:
"Cycling is great for your health and good for the environment, and this government is doing all it can to help more people get out on their bikes.
We have doubled the amount of money available for cycling and taken steps to make sure that future governments plan properly for cycling.
This investment shows our continued commitment to making cycling even easier and safer, and our ambition to help make these cities better for cycles."