Sheffield Council targets share of £12m to improve cycling

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SHEFFIELD is receiving a £350,000 Government grant to improve bicycle infrastructure around the city’s railway station – and could also bid for a share of £12 million funding for cycle routes.

Rail minister Norman Baker has announced funds towards creating a new ‘cycle hub’ with hire bikes, lockers and changing facilities.

The money is part of an additional £62m the Government is investing to improve cycling infrastructure.

Some £12m is being made available for local authorities in a bidding process.

Jonny Wiseman, route manager for East Midlands Trains, which runs Sheffield Station, said: “The announcement about cycle funding for Sheffield is great news for our passengers.

“It will allow us to build even further on the multi million pound improvements already made at Sheffield station. We will be able to finalise the arrangements for the station in the next few weeks.”

Coun Ian Auckland, Sheffield Council’s Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, said: “Cycling in Sheffield can be hit and miss, sometimes literally. While we’ve seen some improvements in the past, more work is much needed and this additional money comes at the right time.”

The Peak District National Park Authority said it plans to bid for a share of the £12m to make further improvements to cycleways after spending £2m reopening tunnels on the Monsal Trail, near Bakewell.

Jim Dixon, authority chief executive, said: “Projects like the Monsal Trail show cycling infrastructure can be delivered in a sensitive way, improving the environment and visitor experience.

“We look forward to working to put together a great bid from the Peak District.”

The authority is to host a Peak District Cycling Summit on Wednesday, February 27, where a cross-section of organisations will work on making the Peak District one of Britain’s top cycling destinations. Plans include a Peak District Cycling Festival in September.

Mr Baker said: “The country’s success at the Olympics and Tour de France has brought cycling into the public’s imagination and there is a huge appetite for better provisions.”