However, there are two caveats:
One, it’s not £8.4 billion just for cycling (we wish!), it’s for a variety of Local Transport Plans.
Two, strictly speaking this cash pledge isn’t new. It was (sort of) first announced in July.
A £180 bn public and private investment package was announced in the 10-Year Transport Plan unveiled in July, although no details were given of where the cash would be spent.
Today, those details were revealed. A third of the Plan funding £59bn is for local transport for the next ten years, of which £19.3bn is public capital investment.
The £8.4 bn allocated today covers five years worth of this £19.3bn investment package. This will allow English local authorities to implement transport plans they have drawn up for their own areas. Many of these plans feature cycle projects.
£4.4bn will be available for public transport, covering major projects 28 of which are being given the green light today as well as a wide range of smaller schemes (costing £2.8bn).
Smaller scale improvements include 8,200 schemes focusing on road safety measures including 20mph zones outside schools, traffic calming measures, safer routes to school, and school travel plans. This funding will also contribute to up to 4,500 km of better bus routes, which will in turn benefit cyclists (who tend to use bus lanes too).
Announcing the £8.4 bn investment boost, John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, said:
"This money will make a real difference to everyone, however they travel and wherever they live.
"In Julys 10-Year Plan the Government promised a huge investment increase for local transport. Now were delivering on our promises. We want people to see local improvements soon but we also want to invest in transport for the long term.
"Local problems need local solutions. And the local authorities are best placed to assess the transport needs of their areas. Ive been very impressed with the plans theyve drawn up. Were giving local authorities the money. Now its up to them to put their plans into action."
The CTC now wants local authorities to take cycling much more seriously:
"Local authorities now have sufficient cash to promote cycling by installing cycle networks, improving road safety, cycle access to schools and train stations, and encouraging integrated transport," said Stuart Reid, the CTC campaigns and policy manager.
"We would welcome the opportunity to work with councils in improving cycling facilities. These authories must take up the government’s challenge challenge and put cycling at the heart of integrated transport."
The following projects from local authorities are those that specifically mention planned improvements in cycle infrastructure:
Manchester City Urban Traffic Control System – £5.5m
The UTC system will bring active priority for public transport at traffic signals and a better pedestrian and cyclist environment. The scheme will also bring environmental, safety and accessibility benefits.
Plymouth Northern Corridor Public Transport Scheme – £8.4m
Package of measures including Park and Ride and better traffic management and highway improvements, to deliver safety improvements, better pedestrian and cycle facilities and improved reliability and access to public transport
Wiltshire – Salisbury Package: Salisbury integrated measures £13.7m
A multi-modal solution to the traffic problems of the city of Salisbury. The measures include 4 bus park and ride sites, bus priority and cycling measures, pedestrianisation and traffic management.
Nuneaton Development Project – £5.4m
A package of measures essential for the economic regeneration of the town centre and local economy. The scheme includes bus priority through an Urban Traffic Control system, bus station improvements, cycle lockers and racks in pedestrian areas, radial cycle routes and toucan crossings.