Transport Ministers Norman Baker and Mike Penning pledged £15million to tackle dangerous junctions for cyclists this morning.
The sum is for English local authorities to invest and is in addition to the £15m awarded to Transport for London (TfL) to fix accident hotspots where cyclists had been killed or seriously injured.
To get their share, local authorities will have to submit bids to the Department for Transport (DfT), which will look to authorities to contribute further money to ‘maximise the work that can be undertaken’.
“I am delighted to be able to provide today a further £15m to improve cycle safety, by enabling local authorities to tackle proven dangerous junctions," said Transport Minister Norman Baker. "This investment – alongside a number of other initiatives we have progressed – will make our roads a safer place for everyone using them.
“Cycling is a fantastic way of getting fit, reducing congestion and improving the environment, and cyclist safety matters hugely.”
The new fund was outlined to the DfT’s Cycling Forum today, which includes cycling, motoring, and road safety groups, who have been working together to find ways to improve cycle safety.
The DfT will work with with local authorities and the Cycling Forum to pinpoint the important junctions most in need of safety improvements. Accident data will be used to highlight potential sites and money allocation will be revealed in the autumn.
The DfT statement read: " The investment is the latest Government action to improve cycling safety. The Department is already giving £1.8 billion of funding to local councils enabling them to design solutions appropriate to their local transport challenges, including improving their road infrastructure to encourage and support cycling.
"Furthermore, the vast majority of projects being funded under the Department’s £560 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund contain a cycling element.
"Ministers recently announced a new allocation of £15 million for better cycle routes and facilities across the country. The Department has also made it simpler for councils to put in place 20mph zones and limits, and install Trixi mirrors to improve the visibility of cyclists at junctions, by reducing bureaucracy."
UPDATE: Sustrans has responded to the DfT’s announcement. Chief exec Malcolm Shepherd said: "Safety is the biggest concern for both cyclists and would-be cyclists so it’s about time the Government stepped in to make it safer to get around on two wheels.
“This investment is a small step in the right direction, but £15million isn’t nearly enough to make it safe, easy and enjoyable for everyone to travel by bike – David Cameron must stick to his promise and invest a reasonable proportion of the Highways Agency budget in cycling for all.”
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