£77m cycling fund ‘fails to help town’

Pedals cycle action group is welcoming the Government push to get more people on their bikes.
Pedals cycle action group is welcoming the Government push to get more people on their bikes.
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More should be done to promote safe and convenient cycling in market towns such as Spalding.

That is the reaction of a cycle action group to the new government initiative to encourage more people to get on their bikes.

On Monday, Prime Minister David Cameron announced £77million funding for cycling in eight cities and four national parks.

He said: “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.

“Business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this.”

David Jones, chairman of Pedals, said: “We are pleased that the Government is giving greater prominence to the benefits and importance of cycling.

“However, it should state clearly that more should be done to promote safe and convenient cycling in market towns such as Spalding, as well as in cities.

“After all the benefits of cycling as a low-cost, healthy, environmentally-friendly means of transport apply to everywhere.

“We look to Lincolnshire County Council and South Holland District Council to respond positively to the Prime Minister’s words despite the fact that no extra money is being made available for cycling in our area.”

A report ‘Get Britain Cycling’ will be discussed in the House of Commons on Monday, September 1.

Mr Jones said: “One of its recommendations is that it should be a statutory requirement to consider the needs of cyclists and pedestrians at an early stage of all new development schemes.

“Pedals regrets that this recommendation, which would not have any significant financial implications, was not included in Monday’s government announcement.

“It will be doing its best to ensure the Government’s new enthusiasm for cycling clearly applies to Spalding and other market towns and not just to the cities and national parks named on Monday.”

Adam Ellis, of Spalding Cycling Club, said he doubted the announcement would have any impact on South Holland.

He said: “Unfortunately we don’t live in a city and we don’t have any parks large enough.

“The district council has been offered 50/50 funding by British Cycling to fund a purpose-built cycle park in Spalding but due to a real lack of progress with any developments with the sport centre they have now missed the opportunity which is a real disappointment.”