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The area of Greater Bristol received the UK's first Cycling City status in June 2008. The status was awarded jointly to the two councils in Greater Bristol - Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council.
Cycling City is not just an award - it is an opportunity for everyone in the region. The total funding of £22.8 million brings the potential for unprecedented levels of innovation, involvement and creativity.
Both councils have set the ambitious target of doubling the number of regular cyclists in Greater Bristol by March 2011.
To do this they need to deliver information and infrastructure to help people get to their destination by bike, as well as providing them with the skills to confidently undertake such journeys.
But perhaps more than any of these things, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils - as well as councils across the UK and the hundreds of partner agencies involved in the promotion of cycling - need to engage local communities, to enthuse them, and to help them to discover how easy it is to take up cycling and the whole new way of life that cycling opens up to them.
Every citizen, not just those who cycle, will benefit from better air quality, less traffic congestion and safer roads. Those who start cycling will also benefit from improved health and well-being, a cost-effective and sustainable form of transport, and a fresh perspective on our beautiful city and the surrounding area.