A GOVERNMENT announcement that it will spend £2 billion to start a “cycling and walking revolution” has been welcomed locally.

The Prime Minister today announced the spending to encourage more people to engage in “active travel” to reduce pressure on public transport.

The funding will help subsidise electronic bicycles, provide bike repair vouchers and could see GPs prescribe bike riding for overweight patients.

At the launch of the campaign in Nottinghamshire, Boris Johnson told motorists they needed to accept they will be 'sharing the roads' with cyclists, urging them to "be courteous."

West Yorkshire Combined Authority, made up of five local Councils including Bradford, recently set out plans to reduce Carbon emissions. This includes an ambition to increase cycling levels by 2,000% by 2038.

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In response Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We welcome the publication of the new cycle design guidance and the Government’s plan for future investment.

"This will help us build on the significant progress we’ve already made to enable more people to travel by bike and on foot, and plan to make in the future through our £317 million Transforming Cities Fund announced earlier this year.

“Emerging information is showing we need to increase both cycling and walking trips by at least 2,000% and 78% respectively to achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038. Long-term, sustainable and flexible Government funding is absolutely vital in helping us meet these ambitions, as well as building on our existing programme of Mini-Holland schemes.

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“Encouraging increasing numbers of us to consider cycling and walking is more important than ever as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From connecting people across our region, to reducing air pollution and congestion, and combatting physical inactivity and obesity, we know increasing the numbers of people choosing to travel by bike or on foot has a vital role to play in making West Yorkshire a great place to live, work and play.”

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working in partnership with local authorities to deliver a package of emergency measures, including trial cycling and walking infrastructure, to help people move around the region safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This work includes both short and longer-term proposals, which are being submitted to Government to access £12.5 million funding for West Yorkshire through the Emergency Active Travel Fund.