East Midlands cycle paths get £2.8m investment

A cycle path
Image caption The government announced a nationwide grant scheme for cycle routes

About £2.8m is to be spent improving cycling routes across the East Midlands.

The government has given more than £1.5m in grants to councils in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

The money, which has to be spent by the end of 2013, will be topped up by the councils, meaning a total of £2.8m will be spent.

Cycling group Sustrans welcomed the funds but said "more needs to be done".

'Excellent news'

Leicestershire is the biggest beneficiary, with more than £1m to be spent in the city and a further £320,000 in Loughborough and Oadby.

Leicester City Council will spend the money on Newarke Street, Southgates and converting St Nicholas Place to Jubilee Square.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: "This is excellent news. One of the key aims of our Connecting Leicester vision is to make the city centre more attractive - and safer - to even more cyclists."

In Nottinghamshire, improvements will be made on the B6040 between Manton and Worksop and along North Road and Amott Way in Retford.

In Nottingham, work will focus on the Dunkirk roundabout and Mansfield Road and Forest Road.

Paul Hillier, principal officer from the local transport plan at County Hall said: "I hope we are doing as much as we can to improve the lot of cyclists and that benefits people in the future."

Meanwhile, Derby Road in Long Eaton will be improved and the roundabout at the junction of Market Place will be replaced with traffic signals.

Mike Ashworth from Derbyshire County Council said: "We hope these measures will help reduce the number of accidents in the area and give people more confidence to choose cycling as a means of travel."

The news was cautiously welcomed by Sustrans.

Matthew Easter, Sustrans East Midlands regional director said: "If we're to feel the benefits that cycling can bring, we need consistent, long-term funding and the permanent involvement of both local and national government."

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