Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Safer Streets for Cyclists Is Aim in PS6.5m Cash Bid; NEWCASTLE GIVEN GREEN LIGHT TO GO FOR FUNDING SHARE-OUT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Safer Streets for Cyclists Is Aim in PS6.5m Cash Bid; NEWCASTLE GIVEN GREEN LIGHT TO GO FOR FUNDING SHARE-OUT

Article excerpt

Byline: KATHRYN RIDDELL Reporter kathryn.riddell@ncjmedia.co.uk @KathrynRiddell

A POT of cash will be offered to Newcastle to make the city safer for cyclists and encourage more people to get on their bike.

Eight councils across England will be able to bid for a share of PS6.5m the Government has made available for cycling schemes.

The news has been welcomed by keen cyclist Matt Smith, who spent Christmas in hospital after being knocked off his bike on City Road in Newcastle.

The 29-year-old had to spend two weeks at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and has undergone two operations after part of his right leg was shattered.

Now recuperating at his Heaton home, he has only just started to walk again with the aid of crutches.

Despite his injuries, civil engineer Matt is keen to get back on the saddle.

He said: "Safety is always a concern but the benefits of cycling significantly outweigh the risks.

"The benefits are huge to see in countries that have managed to get it right like Denmark and the Netherlands.

"It takes a huge amount of investment and it takes a lot of political will.

"But it's going in the right direction and at the moment we're facing huge problems with obesity; if more people were cycling, we would definitely reduce that."

The funding is part of the Department for Transport's (DfT) cycling review, with Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Birmingham, Norwich, Manchester and Oxford also invited to bid for the money.

Another PS500,000 will be used to support the Big Bike Revival project run by the charity Cycling UK to provide training and encouragement to get more people cycling.

The review was prompted by the death of mother-of-two Kim Briggs who was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier in 2016.

Charlie Alliston, then 18, was travelling at 18mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes when he hit the 44-year-old in east London, causing fatal injuries. …

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