On your bike for the South Downs National Park

Michael Chevis with riders Ed and Henrik checking routes around Didling in the folds of the Downs
Michael Chevis with riders Ed and Henrik checking routes around Didling in the folds of the Downs
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The South Downs National Park is to receive £5 million worth of funding for its cycling infrastructure.

Sussex MP Norman Baker, who is also the Lib Dem transport minister, has welcomed the news.

The South Downs National Park is to receive over £5 million of investment with £3.8 million coming from the Coalition Government and £1.3 million provided locally.

Mr Baker says the scheme he scheme will provide opportunities for leisure cycling for the five million people who live within an hour of the South Downs National Park and will focus on improving access to the National Park from major rail stations.

In total 55km of new routes will be built across England’s most visited and densely populated National Park.

It follows Mr Bakers’s announcement of the construction of the Lewes to Kingston cycle path which was part of a £30million cycle fund and will, according to the MP, create a picturesque safe route of travel between the towns and the villages.

This is part of the largest ever single cash injection into cycling with projects being announced around the country.

With local funding included, nearly £150million will be invested between now and 2015.

Mr Baker said, “Cycling is great for the environment and great for one’s health with those who cycle having a longer life expectancy than those who do not.

“That is why I have focused a lot of my efforts on extolling the benefits of cycling and today is yet another piece of great news for cycling enthusiasts.

“The South Downs National Park is a beautiful part of the country and I really cannot think of a better way of experiencing it than on a bike.”