New Cycling Demonstration Towns

Today the Transport Secretary anounced more ‘cycling demonstration towns’ and the country’s first ‘cycling demonstration city’ (Bristol). These places will receive varying sums of money to try to encourage people onto their bikes.

Bristol has pledged to double the number of people cycling in the city in 3 years. “The city will receive £11.4m, rising to £23m after three years, to create the UK’s first on-street bike rental network, modelled on the successful Paris scheme.” – The Guardian

Government spending money for the now 18 Cycling Towns totals £100 million over 3 years. (To put that in perspective, widening 50 miles of a motorway can cost thirty times that total – £3 billion.)

The 11 new ‘cycling demonstration towns’:

  • York,
  • Cambridge,
  • Stoke,
  • Blackpool,
  • Chester,
  • Colchester,
  • Leighton Buzzard,
  • Southend,
  • Shrewsbury,
  • Southport,
  • Woking.

The current 6:

  • Aylesbury,
  • Brighton,
  • Darlington,
  • Derby,
  • Exeter,
  • Lancaster.

No mention of actively discouraging car use though.

All the money in the world won’t help unless people can be persuaded about the benefits of change, says my guide Andrew Whitehead, cycling officer at Bristol City Council. And with rising fuel prices and growing congestion, he believes the time is ripe to make the case. – BBC

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