Portsmouth cycling improvement plans need to be realistic, warns minister

Robert Goodwill says he will help Portsmouth in their bid to attract cycling infrastructure funding, but says they need to offer value for money

Cycling minister Robert Goodwill is backing plans to improve cycling infrastructure in Portsmouth, but warns that any proposals need to be realistic in order to gain funding.

Mr Goodwill visited Portsmouth on Thursday and went on a bike ride with council leader Donna Jones to see what cycling was like for people in the city.

With the government investing millions of pounds into the improvement of cycle routes across the country, Portsmouth has often missed out on the money, but Mr Goodwill says he will work with councillors to ensure their bids are more successful.

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He told The News: “The Prime Minister has made it clear he wants to see a cycling revolution in this country.

“In terms of government spending, we had a situation where we were spending £2 per head on cycling and in the last five years that has increased to £5 per head.’

He added: “We obviously have bids in for funding, through schemes like the sustainable transport fund.

“Portsmouth is one of those places which hasn’t been as successful as other cities in getting that money, and one of the things I want to do is work with the city to put forward schemes that offer better value for money.”

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Cllr Jones added: “Robert signposted a couple of different funding pots we can apply for which are particularly relevant to Portsmouth.

“We have now got staff at the council working on putting in bids for grants so we can build new cycle lanes across Portsmouth.”

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