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East Midlands towns and railway stations to see £2m investment

cycling hubs at Nottingham and Leicester stations and hire bikes in Nottingham and Derby

Towns in the East Midlands are to see £2 million in investment for cycling thanks for funding from a £62m government fund.

A new bridge for cyclists will be put in over Maud Foster Drain in Boston, Lincolnshire, and cycling hubs are to be installed at Nottingham and Leicester stations.

In addition, cyclists in Nottingham and Derby will be able to use new hire bikes.

Towns were able to bid for funding from a £30 million pool that has be made available for cities in England to bid on to improve cycling infrastructure, as we reported recently.

Some £9 million of the money - £7.5 million from the Department for Transport and £1.5 million from train operating companies – is being set aside for 20,000 cycle parking spaces at railway stations this is part of an overall £15 million that will be spent on schemes throught the Community Linking Places Fund which aims to increase community cycling (Govt-speak for cycling in the community we presume) and cycle-rail integration.

The station cycle hubs will include secure cycle storage, lockers and changing facilities. The hire facility will be in the form of Brompton docks, as seen in other parts of the country, which allow riders to borrow a folding bike to get to and from the railway station.

Nottingham City Councillor Jane Urquhart, told the BBC: "This will have a positive impact on the regeneration of Nottingham Station and will help make the city an increasingly cycle-friendly place to be."

Andrew Martin, chair of Nottinghamshire cycling campaign group Pedals, said he welcomed the news but still had some concerns about the projects.

"The funding announcement is definitely good news. But there are always reservations when it people are talking about large sums of money.

"If the infrastructure for cycling goes in, that's great. But will the funds be available in five or 10 years time to maintain the schemes?"

Speaking after the announcement, Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "We are serious about cycling, as this latest wave of funding shows.

"We have already seen how schemes can quickly deliver economic and environmental benefits, as well as improving public health."

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Baker elaborated on the thinking behind the investment in cycle parking at train stations.

"The intention is to join up different modes of transport, so people have a sustainable choice from when they leave their door to wherever they finish up. Part of that is to make sure people can cycle to the station and leave their bike there.

"What I've observed, all around the country, is the moment you put in new bike spaces they get filled up immediately. There's clearly the demand."

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