A NATIONAL drive was launched today to find the first Cycling City in England as well as 10 new Cycling Towns to pioneer new routes and training.
And Kirklees could well be one of them.
The council is hoping to put in a bid to share a pot of cash to promote cycling.
The Cycling England organisation has invited bids to share a £47m fund aimed at expanding the number of areas which are already taking part in programmes to boost the number of people cycling.
Areas including Aylesbury, Exeter, Morecambe and Darlington have reported increases in the number of cyclists since they took part in the scheme.
Cycling England chairman Phillip Danton said scores of councils had expressed an interest in improving cycling facilities.
Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly (pictured) said: “I hope the first Cycling City and the new Cycling Towns will learn from previous successes, as well as bring forward new ideas about how to take cycling in their areas to a new level, helping to tackle congestion and pollution and encouraging healthier lifestyles.”
Clr Martyn Bolt, a cyclist himself and Kirklees Cabinet’s member for highways matters, said: “I hope we can get in a bid.
“I was at a Cycling England conference in Birmingham and was disappointed to learn we had not been in the first group of councils bidding for cash.
“Kirklees has done a lot already, but with this sort of money on offer we could do a whole lot more.
“The Spen Valley Greenway already attracts 200,000 users a year.
“We could greatly increase that with the help of grants,” added Clr Bolt.