The Government have initiated a national scheme to get more people to ride bicycles around the busier cities and large towns, to help with congestion of traffic, and parking problems, as well as promoting better health.
The Prime Minister has revealed that £77million pounds has been invested to make roads safer for cyclists in some major cities and towns and a further £17million pounds to be shared amongst some of the major National Parks. Due to local contributions being added to the fund, the total amount to be invested between now and 2015 is £148million pounds!
The cities and towns involved are Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Norwich and Oxford. Many of these have large universities where students often cycle around the local areas, as it is a cheap and easy mode of transport for the hard up student!
The National Parks involved in the scheme are the New Forest, the Peak District, South Downs and Dartmoor.
The Government want to change the way developers construct roads and design them, to take into account the cyclist, who in many places is currently ignored. They want local councils to widen roads and make cycle lanes to enable cyclists to ride around their neighbourhood safely.
David Cameron, Prime Minister, has been quoted as saying, “Following our success in the Olympics, Paralympics and Tour de France, British cycling is riding high – now we want to see cycling soar. Our athletes have shown they are among the best in the world, and we want to build on that, taking our cycling success beyond the arena, and on to the roads, starting a cycling revolution which will remove the barriers for a new generation of cyclists. This government want to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle, as well as encouraging far more people to take it up, and business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector, all have a role to play in helping to achieve this.”
To achieve this, junctions, signals and cycle lanes will be improved across the country, so car drivers will need to be more aware than ever of cyclists on their left hand side, when making turns to the left, or pulling out in blind spots. Cyclists are vulnerable as they do not have an engine to alert you to their presence, so be alert when driving, and keep checking your mirrors, so that you can give them the space they need to ride safely.