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UK government invests $80 million to encourage people to walk and cycle to work

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The U.K. government is to invest £64 million ($80 million) to fund projects encouraging "thousands more" to cycle and walk to work, it announced on Thursday.

The funding will support local projects from 2017 to 2020, the government said. Among other things, the funding will support safety and awareness training for cyclists, road safety measures, mapping information for pedestrians and a greater focus on car sharing clubs.

"We are committed to improving how people travel and this investment will ensure that people's journeys are cheaper, safer and better for the environment," Transport Minister Andrew Jones said in a statement.

"It will help people to become more active and better transport planning will reduce congestion on our roads – particularly at peak times."

The government added that the funding could result in 95 million fewer miles in car journeys as well as 40,000 extra cycling trips and 99,000 more walking trips every day.

"We strongly welcome this announcement of the access fund projects and the new cycling and walking to work fund," Stephen Joseph, the Campaign for Better Transport's chief executive, said in a statement.

"The evidence suggests that these kinds of projects can remove barriers to work, help local communities and businesses and also tackle local transport problems by giving people attractive alternatives to car use," Joseph added.