£1m boost to get people out of their cars and onto bikes in Nottingham
NOTTINGHAM will receive more than £1 million of Government cash to improve cycling facilities at the city's railway station and along the River Leen.
A total of £600,000 will be spent on a cycle hub with lockers, showers, changing rooms, bike wash facilities and bike hire at Nottingham station.
A further £300,000 will be spent on a folding-bike hire scheme, with 120 Brompton bikes available across Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield railway stations.
An extra £150,000 will be used for the River Leen area to build a cycle and footpath alongside the water between Wilkinson Street and Church Street with links to Citycard cycle parking facilities at the Wilkinson Street park-and-ride.
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The money is part of a major investment to improve cycling infrastructure and safety for cyclists across the country.
The news was announced by Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, Norman Baker.
Barbara Pearce, Nottingham Liberal Democrat chairman, said the investment would benefit the environment.
"Nottingham has the second-highest level of nitrogen dioxide air pollution in Britain, according to a recent study, much of it caused by cars using the city centre. This money comes at just the right time to try and get people out of their cars and on to bikes," she said.
The newest wave of funding for cyclists follows a £350,000 investment in Nottingham from the Department for Transport in October last year, when 250 hire bikes were introduced to the city.
Mr Baker said: "The country's success at the Olympics and in the Tour de France has brought cycling right into the public's imagination and there is a huge appetite for better cycling provisions."
Susan Young, a member of Notts cycling group Pedals, said: "We have been hoping for a cycle hub for a long time. The station is a central point and, hopefully, the scheme will get more people riding and out of their cars."
Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for transport at the city council, welcomed the extra money.
She said: "This will have a positive impact on the regeneration of Nottingham station and will help make the city an increasingly cycle-friendly place to be."
The news has also been welcomed by East Midlands Trains.
Route manager Jonny Wiseman said: "The announcement is great news for our passengers. It will allow us to further enhance Nottingham's Hub redevelopment scheme with the addition of a new dedicated cycle hub."
All of the money will come from the Government's Community Linking Places Fund.