'Pot of gold' boost for Exe cyclepath

PUBLISHED: 01:01 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 June 2010

A huge government commitment to promoting cycling will prove a timely boost to Devon County Council's new cyclepath development. Matching the county council's enthusiasm for healthy eco-friendly travel and tourism opportunities, government transport secre

A huge government commitment to promoting cycling will prove a timely boost to Devon County Council's new cyclepath development.Matching the county council's enthusiasm for healthy eco-friendly travel and tourism opportunities, government transport secretary Ruth Kelly this week announced a £140 million pot of gold for cycling projects.Devon County Council played a role in securing the government's backing - helping Exeter become one of the six English 'cycle demonstration towns' which tipped holders of the purse-strings towards cycle support.DCC executive member for environment, Councillor Margaret Rogers said: "We want to make it easier and safer for people to cycle on the county's roads. Training is providing children with an important life-skill which will help them develop essential road safety awareness as well as improving their health and helping make Devon even greener."This scheme demonstrates that, if the Government can provide the investment, people will leave their cars at home and opt for sustainable forms of transport, and hopefully the whole of Devon can benefit."The Cycle Exeter scheme began in 2005, and has seen a 25 per cent increase in bike use. The County Council drive to boost cycling has extended down to Exmouth, which will link to Exeter as part of the authority's £7 million cycle path.The money - £110m being new investment on top of the government's current £10m per year cycling grants - will be part of a national anti-obesity strategy.The funds will go towards encouraging 500,000 children to take up cycling, with the correct equipment. The transport department hope to link more schools to routes on the National Cycle Network, such as the Exmouth/Exeter/Dawlish estuary-side trail.

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