§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will concentrate aid for the National Cycle Network on (a) the areas of highest unemployment and (b) safe routes to school, particularly, where these can be connected to the national network. [HL1248]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty)
The National Cycle Network (NCN) is being promoted by the charity Sustrans. It will provide a network of around 10,000 miles of safe and attractive routes for cyclists around the UK. Sustrans determines its own network of routes in consultation with local authorites.
The Government gave strong support to the original bid by Sustrans for funding from the Millennium Commission, which resulted in a £43.5 million grant from the National Lotteries Fund in 1995.
Sustrans is making good progress with the NCN. We are continuing to assist the development of the network and will be helping with the Millennium launch later this year. We have also assisted on a range of policy, legal, and administrative issues. The Highways Agency is working with Sustrans on the provision of safe and convenient crossings of trunk roads.
As the network develops, it will provide a number of additional safe routes for cyclists both for the journey to work and to school. Local authorities will also be looking for opportunities to link local cycle routes to the national network.