£100m city hubs plan for cyclists to get Britain on two wheels
In an effort to get Britain on to two wheels instead of four, over 100 million pounds will now be devoted to what are being called cycle hubs in cities where people can bike to work but still arrive fresh and clean at their desks for a day's work.
These hubs will be places where cyclists can lock up their bikes, take a shower, and even mend their bikes if they need to and then move on to work and not have to be sweaty and red-faced and scrambling to get into their hot suits.
I like this idea - I think it will encourage more people to bike to work.
Bristol will get the lion's share of the money after being selected as Britain's first official “cycling city”. Another 11 towns and cities will also receive a share of the biggest investment in cycling.
In addition to creating a hub in the city centre, Bristol will establish a Paris-style on-street bike-hire scheme. For an annual registration fee of about £10 people will be given smartcards that will allow them to unlock bikes from stands at stations and other key locations.
The first half hour is likely to be free as long as the bike is returned to another stand. For longer periods the user will automatically be charged about £1 an hour.
Dedicated cycleways will be created to link the suburbs with the city centre and the number of children receiving cycle training at school will almost double, from 1,100 a year to 2,000.
Thousands of rusting bikes will also be liberated from garden sheds, restored and given to those unable to afford a new mount. The scheme will rely on the public donating their old bikes to a team of mechanics who will be paid to repair them.
Road signs at the end of cycle lanes which demand that “Cyclists Dismount” will be replaced with new signs saying “Cyclists Give Way”.
Road junctions that are dangerous for cyclists will be redesigned to force drivers to slow down. Boxes dedicated to cyclists will be painted on the road at traffic lights, allowing riders to slip through queues of vehicles and get out in front where they will be easily visible.
Bristol intends to double the level of cycling over the next three years by spending just under £23 million, half coming directly from the Government and half from the city council and South Gloucestershire council.
The Department for Transport will distribute a total of £47 million for cycling projects in the selected towns and cities, with each grant being matched locally.