George Osborne announces the 'Cycling Cities' scheme will have its budget slashed by £23m as he looks to cut spending by £4.5bn

A scheme announced by former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in March to improve cycling infrastructure in cities around England will see its spending cut by 20 per cent, the Chancellor has announced.

George Osborne is set to slash £23m from the £114m pledged to the Cycling Ambition Cities Programme as he tries to cut departmental spending by £4.5bn.

The Department for Transport has been hit the hardest in the cuts, losing out on £545m, according to figures in the Guardian, while defence and education will lose £500m and £450m respectively.

It’s little surprise that one of former Liberal Democrat leader Clegg’s flagship schemes is one of the first things to feel the brunt of cuts, as the Tories shake the shackles of the coalition government they’d been part of since 2010.

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The cut means that around £91m will be split between eight cities: Bristol, Cambridge, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

Mr Clegg said in March: “We are in the midst of a cycling revolution in the UK but we need to make sure we’re in the right gear to see it through. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce this investment for these major cities to make it easier for people to get around on two wheels.”

Adding: “Research shows us that boosting cycling could save billions of pounds otherwise spent on the NHS, reduce pollution and congestion, and create a happier and safer population.”

  • Ben

    No shop deliveries, no public transport, no disabled people allowed into London or other major cities. The thing is, even if you don’t directly use motor vehicles, you rely on them. Even the Boris Bikes are moved around London in vans. A cyclist was killed crashing into one that was parked up.

  • James McNulty

    Ffs there are plenty of facilities for cyclists all that there needs to happen is to just outright ban all vehicles from our towns and cities then there would be plenty of bike lanes everywhere. Just imagine how pleasant life would be meandering around London and not having to worry about being squashed by a big fucking truck or the cabbie who sorry mate didn’t see ya, imagine being able to breathe properly, people would get fitter healthier and better. Ban cars take back the city

  • RT

    Who cares? It’s only the plebs that will be affected.

  • Mike Noble

    Bad decision there George, trains overloaded, roads network at near capacity. For a small budget take, that will have an adverse affect on road safety. For all users.

  • Mark Jones

    Very short sighted of the Government as usual.

  • Kevin ‘Herbie’ Blackburn

    False economy! The direct deaths of cyclists from vehicles is emotive but only part of the issue, but the 30,000 deaths from pollution, the stress of modern commuting, the fact most city children can’t play in the polluted playgrounds (where they haven’t been sold) are a greater issue, but the greatest issue is that not getting people active is killing 100s of 1000s every year! Between them obesity and inactivity are responsible for around 1 in 3 premature deaths in the UK, and a massive bill on the NHS! Cutting cycling (or any other encouragement to active life) funding is pathetically short sighted.

  • James Evans

    Thanks George

  • briantrousers

    Bet London still gets its ridiculous garden bridge though!

  • Typical!

  • Gary Jogela