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County could benefit from share of £20m cycling investment

November 30, 2012 9:39 AM

Cambridgeshire could benefit from a share of an extra £20 million for cycle infrastructure announced by Lib Dem Transport Minister Norman Baker.

The news - the biggest single government investment in cycling - has been welcomed by Cambridgeshire Lib Dems who0 claim extra investment would be a real boost for the county generally and especially its rural villages.

Projects could include better cycle facilities at railway stations, improved cycle links, or improvements to the layout of road junctions to make them more cycle-friendly. Details of the schemes to be supported will be announced early next year.

The investment comes on top of £15 million to make junctions outside London safer for cyclists announced by Mr Baker earlier this year, and a further £15 million for sustrans cycle routes and to improve cycle-rail links.

Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson, Cllr Susan van de Ven said: "This is great news and consistent with Norman Baker's record of support for localised transport schemes.

"The news is especially welcome in villages across the county where public buses are nearly extinct. There is an obvious appetite for travel by cycle and rail but this can only happen with better station cycle parking.

"We are looking for exactly this kind of support in my area for Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton stations where you can count the number of cycle racks on one hand.

"I hope this fund will help to make a difference in villages where small measures can serve to open up more opportunities for cycling."

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, who has been campaigning to improve cycle safety and led a Westminster debate in support of the Cities Fit for Cycling campaign run by The Times newspaper also welcomed the move.

He said: "The Lib Dems have worked hard to make cycling a priority with this government and at last we are seeing real investment where it is needed. We cannot encourage people out of their cars and onto bikes unless we prove that we are committed to making it safer and easier for them to do so.

"This investment, on top of the earlier £45 million announced by Norman Baker will bring benefits across the country, and the £560 million in the local sustainable transport fund is also very welcome. But in the longer term, I would like to see year on year investment so that we can bring this country's cycling infrastructure up to the standard it should be."