On 7 February Norman Baker, Under-Secretary of State for Transport, announced a £15 million growth package to be implemented by Sustrans and the Cycle Rail Working Group (a ‘linking places’ fund). I’d thought we’d have to wait months for results, so you will understand my surprise to see both the Cambridge News and Cambridge First breaking an ’embargo’ to say that half a million pounds would be available to support the construction of a 3,000-space cycle park at Cambridge.
This was one of 72 items on the DfT list, including ‘Cycle Centres’, more cycle parking at stations and better links for cycling and walking to stations.
We have previously said that changes to the planning agreement were likely to bring forward the new cycle park at the station and this secured funding must help with that.
So what about the proposed cycle park?
Perhaps by the time you read this, some of the details will be in the public domain. After the announcement some were concerned about apparent comparisons with the Leeds Cyclepoint where charges are £1 per day, although we understand there are no plans to charge for cycle parking.
Of course, government money to fund cycling schemes all over the country is good news, but we need to remember that there have been three tranches of ‘station improvement funds’ from DfT totalling some £100 million since April. This has funded large numbers of extra car parking spaces, including ‘double-decking’ at some stations.