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Volume 540: debated on Thursday 23 February 2012

11. How much of the local sustainable transport fund and the funding for the growth strategy for cycling and walking will be spent on cycle safety in the next financial year. (95959)

During 2012-13, £11 million will be spent on Bikeability and £8 million will be spent through the growth strategy on off-road infrastructure for cyclists. Funding to local authorities for cycling through successful local sustainable transport fund projects is at least £15 million in the forthcoming year. Approximately 40% of the measures funded relate to infrastructure or training, both of which will help cycle safety.

With the recent deaths of several cyclists in south Lakeland, especially along the A590 and A591, which are managed by the Highways Agency, what can the Government do to improve safety for cyclists in rural areas and especially on those roads?

I am obviously conscious that any death involving a cyclist on the roads is one too many. It is fair to put these matters in context, however. The number of cyclists killed on the roads has declined by 40%, or thereabouts, over the past 15 years. My hon. Friend is right, though, to raise the particular issue of the A590 and the A591, which is a county road. I have asked the Highways Agency and Cumbria county council to work together on this matter and to let me know what steps they intend to take to improve cycle safety there.