The investment will include £114m to help develop cycling networks in eight cities including Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Oxford. Around £100m of the fund will be used by the Highways Agency to improve some of the busiest roads in Britain for cyclists and pedestrians.
Clegg’s announcement has met wide criticism from cycling campaigners who argue that more investment in cycling is still needed. The level of funding for cycling in the UK still falls below the target investment of £10 per person and remains dwarfed by the government’s commitment to road infrastructure which stands at £24 billion.
Head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, Tom Jones, said: “The funding announced for cycling infrastructure improvements by the coalition government is almost insulting. This is a drop in the ocean when you look at government spend as a whole.
“This government constantly talks about how it wants people to get out on their bikes, but people need to feel safe on the road if they are to seriously commit to using cycling as their main form of transport.
“Cyclists are among the UK’s most vulnerable road users, and, despite David Cameron calling for a ‘cycling revolution’, he has done very little to provide the funding to back up his rhetoric. The UK’s roads require significantly more funding than that offered up by Clegg this week if there is to be a genuine improvement in cycling safety and a reduction in the number of cycling accidents.”