Cambridgeshire bids for £8.2m cycle improvement plan

Bicycles in Cambridge Cambridge has long claimed to be the country's "cycling capital"

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Cyclists in Cambridgeshire could benefit from more than £8m of improvements if a county council bid for funding is successful.

The council has asked for £4.1m from the Department for Transport's Cycle City Ambition Fund, which it will match-fund with a further £4.1m.

Plans include segregated cycle lanes on some roads and a new network of routes in the city and south of the county.

Successful bidders will be announced by government in June.

Mike Davies, who leads the council's cycling projects team, said the council was up against 20 other towns and cities bidding for funding, including Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Norwich, Southend and Ipswich.

'Very ambitious'

Cambridge itself was last month dubbed the "cycling capital of the UK" after DfT figures showed it had more cyclists than any other city in the country.

However, Mr Davies said that accolade would not guarantee success in the latest funding bid.

"Only two are likely to get a grant, but we submitted a long-term package of measures that had to be very ambitious to meet the brief."

Successful applicants have to demonstrate plans that support the government's stated desire to "move cycling to the mainstream, offering it as a realistic choice for quick, reliable and convenient short journeys within cities".

In Cambridgeshire, these include segregated cycle routes for Hills Road, part of Trumpington Road and one side of Huntingdon Road, in Cambridge.

New routes are also proposed for cyclists travelling to various employment sites in the south including Granta Park, Whittlesford Station, Babraham Institute, Buckingway Business Park and Foxton Station.

The match-funding element of the bid covers existing approved schemes such as Ring Fort cycle path, toucan crossings and a new 3,000-space cycle park at Cambridge railway station.

Mr Davies added: "It's a very good bid, and Cambridgeshire has a strong track record of encouraging more cycling."

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