Government investment to the tune of £20 million has been announced to fund further upgrades of the country’s National Cycle Network.
An extra 22 upgrades have been earmarked for the National Cycle Network, including brand new routes, improved surfacing and better links to other modes of transport.
This follows 10 other projects announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) earlier this year, spanning in excess of 16,000 miles of on-road and off-road cycling and walking paths.
Chris Heaton-Harris, the government’s Cycling and Walking Minister, said that the move not only helps with the government ambition to improve the numbers of those cycling and walking, but also helps with public health by cleaning up the toxic air.
He said: “Cycling and walking are sustainable forms of transport, which help to keep people active and clean up the quality of our air.
“This funding will put the right infrastructure in place, so people can enjoy new routes on foot or by bike, supporting the government’s ambition for cycling and walking to become the natural choice for shorter journeys by 2040.”
Certainly, cleaning up the toxic air is a key focus of the government; with the growing need to tackle the climate emergency becoming ever more important, upgrading the opportunities through the National Cycle Network could well play a key role in getting people out of cars and on to their bikes or on foot.
This £20 million investment will focus on mending dangerous junctions, building better surfaces, more accessible paths and improving route signage.
As part of the funding, the Fylde coastal path will be re-routed to become traffic-free between Blackpool and St Anne’s; accessibility and safety of the Liverpool Loopline will be improved; and a traffic-free and accessible HS2 corridor will be built from Sheffield to Doncaster.
A traffic-free path alongside HS2 in Buckinghamshire will also be constructed, with projects set to improve quality of existing sections of the network and improve integration with existing infrastructure.