Chris Boardman welcomes DfT cycle training commitment, but says Government must back GM plans to fully maximise its investment

Following the DfT's announcement to offer cycle training to every child in England, Chris Boardman offers his support but says the Government must invest in GM's network.

The Department for Transport has today announced that the expected spend on cycling and waling from 2016 to 2021 has doubled to £2.4 billion.

An extra £22 million will fund an additional 400,000 training places offered on the Bikeability scheme, meaning every child in England will be offered cycle training.

Chris Boardman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Giving all children the opportunity to learn to ride a bike is absolutely the right thing to do and you’d be hard pressed to find a parent who would disagree. However if you ask parents whether they feel comfortable letting their children cycle on the streets of our towns and cities today, you’d struggle to find many who would readily raise their hands.

“Without providing children with safe places to continue this habit into their everyday lives, this investment can’t be truly maximised. It’s like training an athlete up for the Olympics and then not putting them on their flight to compete.

“Our world-class plans for cycling and walking in Greater Manchester will enable this safe and accessible network across all ten districts, and kickstart the long term culture change that’s happened in places like Copenhagen, where more than 50% of children now ride to school. All we need is for the Government to back us with the funds required to deliver our plan and revolutionise travel for a whole city-region and ultimately, for a nation.”

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Ellie Stott