Lord Rogers of Riverside, chairman of the Urban Task Force, says better public transport, safer cleaner streets and urban cycle routes could improve the quality of life for millions of people

Spend more on bikes, says Labour peer

Lord Rogers told the government yesterday that there should be a one fifth increase in share of transport spending on walking, cycling and public transport.

His Urban Task Force reports directly to the government and claims that urban blight could be alleviated and the rush to the countryside halted if city centres were spruced up.

"The renaissance of our towns and cities is central to tackling problems of social exclusion, failures in education and poverty as well as environmental decay.

"It needs to be a priority across Whitehall and the Government needs to move further and faster to make a reality of the renaissance.

"The current Spending Review and the forthcoming Urban White Paper can transform the quality of life and improve the environment for millions of people.

"We can create, safer, healthier, fairer and more attractive towns and cities and leave the countryside unassailed by sprawl and available for all to enjoy."

The 2000 spending review was announced by the Treasury last November and will report in July.

It will establish spending priorities across government for the next three years and is a key input into the forthcoming Urban White Paper.

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