The Deputy Prime Minister is backing The Star’s bid to get Sheffield cycling before the Tour de France arrives in the city.
Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has spoken of his support for our Let’s Get Cycling campaign, which urges residents, schools and business to make the most of Le Tour’s landmark visit by taking to two wheels and sharing their cycling pictures and stories.
With the Tour de France less than 100 days away from its Yorkshire debut, the politician explained how hopeful he was of Le Tour boosting cycling clubs and helping people to dust off their old bikes.
Mr Clegg said: “I’m a huge supporter of the Let’s Get Cycling campaign and I want to pay tribute to all the newspapers that have come together to deliver this campaign.”
“Before you know it we will have more people cycling – it’d be a wonderful thing if Yorkshire can be a county known for what we do on two wheels.”
The Deputy PM also expressed confidence in the team delivering this year’s UK Tour stages.
His comments come after it was revealed costs for the production of the Leeds to Harrogate stage one and York to Sheffield stage two – including traffic management, stewards, toilets, barriers and medical support – had been underestimated by more than £2m.
The budget for hosting three UK stages, including the July 7 Cambridge to London race, is £27m.
Mr Clegg said: “You always have these questions over will it work? Will it be delivered on time? And we had this before the Olympics and day-in day-out before the Paralympics.
“I think once again the sceptics will be confounded and we will deliver a very successful Grand Depart on budget and on time.”
Mr Clegg was speaking as figures revealed a new record for the number of Sheffield Hallam University staff taking part in a cycle to work scheme.
Under the Sheffield CycleBoost scheme, 82 members of staff have signed up to the initiative, where organisations are offered free bikes to loan for employees.
The figure is the highest recorded number of people from any organisation.
CycleBoost, run by cycling companies on behalf of Sheffield Council, is available to firms in the north of the city, the Don Valley and the city centre.