City welcomes cash boost for cycling
NEWS that Leicester is to receive more than £800,000 of Government cash to support its cycling initiatives has been welcomed by the city council.
The Department for Transport has awarded the city council £217,000 to improve Leicester’s national cycle network – and allocated £600,000 to East Midlands Trains so that a high capacity bike hub can be built at Leicester station.
Match-funding of £200,000 means that a total of £417,000 will be spent upgrading the cycle routes that form a spine through the city from north to south, and that cross the city from Evington to Glenfield.
“This is very good news for Leicester,” said City Mayor Peter Soulsby.
“It was only this week that I was talking about cycling priorities with the Leicester Cycle Campaign Group, so this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time.
“This cash will help us to fill some of the missing links in the city’s cycle network and allow us to make significant improvements to the routes – widening cycle-ways where necessary, cutting back vegetation, improving surfaces and generally raising the standard of the cycle network.
“I welcome this funding and am determined to do even more to make cycling attractive – and safe – in Leicester.”
Deputy City Mayor and executive lead for health and wellbeing Cllr Rory Palmer is keen to help people adopt a more active lifestyle.
"Cycling and walking are two of the best ways to build physical activity into our daily lives," he said.
"We know that people who walk and cycle regularly reduce their risk of many health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity, which is why we are committed to investing in our cycle network and encouraging more people to walk or cycle on a regular basis.”
Two national cycle network routes, Route 6 and Route 63, run through Leicester, following the city’s riverside and two former railway lines – the Great Central Way and the Leicester to Swannington line.
The funding – from the Department for Transport’s Community Linking Places Fund – will allow the routes to be upgraded so that they can be adopted and maintained by the city council.
The number of regular cyclists in Leicester has doubled over the past five years, with around 13,000 people now cycling each day, making use of around 60km of off-road cycle tracks in the city,
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