Cycling campaign is handed a £5m funding boost

Robert Goodwill

Robert Goodwill

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SCARBOROUGH Conservative MP Robert Goodwill has welcomed a Department of Transport announcement that a training scheme to encourage children and parents in England to take up cycling has been handed a £5 million funding boost.

Cycling minister Mr Goodwill said the Bikeability Plus initiative, which teaches safe riding and cycle maintenance education to families, is a key part of the Government’s ambition for Britain to become a cycling nation.

Nearly 20,000 children have already participated in pilots of the project, but an additional 200,000 are now set to be reached.

The number of children who cycle to school at least once a week more than doubled to 10 per cent after undergoing previous Bikeability Plus courses, according to the DfT.

One focus of the scheme is to introduce cycling to children and parents in disadvantaged communities who may not otherwise cycle.

Mr Goodwill said: “We want Britain to become a cycling nation and Bikeability Plus will be important in getting more children cycling safely and with confidence.

“There is no better way to make sure future generations of cyclists use healthy and green transport options.”

The funding is part of the wider £50 million Bikeability investment in cycle training for 2016 to 2020.

Schools will be able to offer the new training scheme to pupils from September. A DfT spokesman said it was also supporting cycling with £114 million for eight Cycling Ambition Cities in England. Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Birmingham, Norwich, Newcastle and Oxford have all submitted their bids for the funding.

The money will be used to help each city deliver plans to get more people cycling by improving and expanding cycle routes.

The DfT is also providing £15 million for more than 7,500 new bike spaces at train stations in 2015/16. The funding boosts to get more people cycling come as Yorkshire is bidding to host cycling’s world championships.

Cycling chiefs and campaigners have backed calls for the city to bid for the World Cycling Championships.

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