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Farron urges greater protection for rural cyclists

February 23, 2012 2:33 PM

TF Kendal

South Lakes MP Tim Farron today pressed Transport minister Norman Baker, on the exact figures due to be spent on cycle safety in the next financial year, following recent deaths on the A590 and the A591 in Cumbria.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Tim brought cycling to the national stage with the latest in a series of questions highlighting the grave need for better protections and training for cyclists. Tim sought the ministers' assurances that he will do more to ensure that future cycling accidents such as those on the A590/A591 stretch will be prevented.

The minister Norman Baker agreed to personally oversee the steps taken by the Highways agency and Cumbria County Council to improve the safety of the A590 and A591, as well as highlighting the £15m due to be invested in cycling projects, a total of £11m towards cycling training and £560m to local authorities through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Commenting, Tim said: "I'm encouraged that the minister has agreed to be active on this matter. It's shocking that for the last 6 years; around thirty people have been caught up in cycling accident in South Lakes alone, and over 100 people across Cumbria. These figures are far too high and we need to do more to ensure that getting on your bike doesn't mean risking your life.

"I welcome the increase in grants available for teaching our children how to cycle safely. I'm glad that the Government is giving our local authorities the freedom to spend money on transport how they wish but I would seriously urge them to make cycling safety a priority. Simple measures can make the difference between life and death."