Towards the end of the Coalition Government in 2014, the then Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the biggest single investment in cycling to date.
The funding worth £214m is designed to make it easier and safer to get on your bike in the UK with the intention of doubling the number of journeys made by bike by 2020.
The details were outlined at a cycling summit in Bristol and the investment included:
- £114m secure funding to support Cycling Ambition Cities Programme for the next three years (in Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Oxford) to accelerate their development of local cycling networks, increase protection for cyclists at junctions and traffic hot spots and help prevent accidents.
- £100m investment to improve the conditions for cyclists and walkers travelling alongside and crossing Britain’s most important and busiest roads.
This new money brings the total amount invested into cycling by the Coalition government to £588m.
Commenting, Nick said: “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.”
Unfortunately the Liberal Democrats never managed to completely neutralise David Cameron’s “Get rid of the Green Crap” outburst of November 2013 and once the Conservatives were re-elected with a large majority in 2015, initiatives like this were quietly reduced or cancelled. The Tories quickly increased their destructive austerity measures and cycling, and active transport in general, still remain totally inadequate in the national context.