Pull the other one David.

Greater Manchester is a large county that has a population, at the 2011 census, of about 2.7 million. It is one of the major winners of the Government’s Cycling City Ambition Grants, with a grant of £20 million over two years; that’s just £3.70 per year per head of population. Now, this is the initiative that is going to revolutionize our city and turn it into a world-beating cycle city over the next 15 years or so. Well, they didn’t actually say that, but they did say: “Vélocity 2025 is our vision of a city fit for the future: a healthy, safe, sustainable city that people want to live and work in.” 

OK, numbers like £3.70 per head and £20 million pounds don’t really mean anything to most people; is that good or bad? – it certainly sounds like a lot of money. Well , it happens that something was reported yesterday that puts it into perspective. This is a story about the arguments surrounding plans to build a bypass at Ely in Cambridgeshire at a cost of £30 million. Well, that doesn’t sound like a lot of money for a whole bypass, until you realise that this is for just 1 mile of bypass!

So, the Cycle City ambition for a whole county of 2.7 million people amounts to just two thirds of the cost of one mile of road to serve motor vehicles. And David Cameron claims that his Government is committed to launching a “British cycling revolution”. Right, pull the other one, David, it’s not got bells on, it’s got a freshly charged bloody Airzound!

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