John Spellar, Minister for Transport, yesterday announced that applications were welcome for the first of two bidding rounds for the new Cycling Projects Fund to support the work of the National Cycling Strategy (NCS) Board for England.
The aim of the first bidding round is to raise the profile of cycling and create a greater awareness amongst the public of increases in cycling opportunities.
Projects that are particularly noticeable; are expected to lead to an increase in cycling and that could be set up quickly will have a greater chance of being awarded funds.
A variety of organisations, from the public and private sectors, health and education sectors and cycling groups, are expected to apply.
The first bidding round will run from 1 April to 31 July 2002.
“A lot of work has gone into making this fund available as early as possible to allow cycling projects get off the ground quickly.
“The fund will play a vital part in creating greater opportunities for people wanting to cycle. Cycling is excellent exercise and people who choose to cycle rather than use their car play an important role in reducing pollution.
“If we get the level and quality of response we are expecting from the applications, we would aim to make early decisions so that good local projects can go ahead quickly.”
A statement from the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) gave the following examples of bids that would be welcomed:
* Cycle parking at stations, town centres and other public places.
* Provision of connections from roads, cycle tracks and cycleways into schools, colleges and workplaces.
* Start-up costs for cycle training schemes.
* Cycle trailer loan schemes with a School Travel Plan.
Initial plans for the fund were unveiled on 16th January. Since then, detailed terms and conditions have been drawn up by the Department of Transport with advice from the National Cycling Strategy Board for England. A date for the second round of bidding will be announced later in the year.
The National Cycling Strategy was launched in 1996. The strategy aims to establish a culture favourable to the increased use of bicycles for all ages. The central target is to quadruple the amount of cycling trips (based on 1996 figures) by 2012.
An application form, together with full details of eligibility and the criteria that will be used to assess applications, can be obtained from Bob Richards at the DTLR.
Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
Zone 3/23, Great Minster House, London SW1P 4DR
Tel: 0207 944 2979