No bid means no cycling cash

Cyclist Matt Taylor
Cyclist Matt Taylor
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Cyclists and green campaigners have criticised Sheffield Council for failing to bid for a share of a multi-million pound pot of government cash.

Town Hall bosses have missed out on a slice of £42m of investment by not applying for the urban element of the Department of Transport’s City Cycle Ambition Grant.

Money from the scheme will be shared between three successful cities to carry out infrastructure improvements, to give people the confidence to take up cycling and act as leading lights for the rest of the country.

A spokesman for Sheffield Council said the scheme was not ‘feasible given the time constraint required’.

It has instead ploughed resources into the Peak Park bid with Barnsley Council, which aims to link Stocksbridge and Deepcar into the wider cycling network via Wharncliffe Woods.

But the £1.7m sum the project is asking for pales in comparison to the £20m neighbouring cities Leeds and Manchester could be in line for with the City Cycle Ambition Grant.

Protesters claim it is another example of the local authority’s failure to apply for funding in the wake of huge budget cuts.

Matt Taylor, a member of Cycle Sheffield, said: “That’s £20m Sheffield could have had, but now has no chance of having. It’s a big shame.”

Cycle Sheffield chairman Mike Nott added: “It is a real disappointment.

“Whether they genuinely don’t have the time and staff to put a bid together or whether they were simply not organised enough I don’t know.

“Part of the problem in the city is making sure cycle lanes and paths are linked and tackling known hazardous areas like Brookhill roundabout, which that money could have been used for.”

Green Party Coun Gillian Creasy, who represents the Sheffield Central ward, said: “Even more people would cycle if the council created better conditions for them to do so.”