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Last Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007, 02:33 GMT 03:33 UK
'Millions needed' to push cycling
More cyclists mean fewer car journeys, says Cycling England
Spending more on promoting cycling in England could reduce the number of car journeys by more than 50 million a year, a report has suggested.

Cycling England, the body behind the report, is calling on the government to invest 70m into proven schemes to get more people on their bicycles.

It hopes to reverse the generational decline in the number of children riding to school.

Cycling England has already relaunched proficiency courses for children.

Better health

The organisation, which was set up by the government, says a 70m investment would have quantifiable benefits including between 27 and 54 million fewer car journeys a year.

It could also cut the number of cars on the school run by 5% and improve public health, in particular for older people, it says.

The report rejects the assumption that the number of accidents will rise if more people cycle.

Instead, it says the government should give more priority to reversing a general decline in journeys by bike because of the economic benefits.

According to figures published earlier this year, the number of trips taken by bike was estimated to have fallen by one fifth in the last 10 years.

As part of Cycling England's efforts to reverse this trend, the Bikeability award scheme was launched in March.

It hopes that within five years all school-leaving children will have passed the test and have a realistic experience of coping on the road.

Government funds totalling 10m will pay for about half of all 10-year-olds to take the course.

15m boost for children's cycling
26 Jun 06 |  England

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