The transport secretary, Ruth Kelly, said she hoped the initiative would "pioneer new ways of encouraging people to get on their bikes". Bristol has been named as the UK's first "cycling city" after pledging to double the number of people biking on its streets over three years.
The city will receive £11.4m, rising to £23m after three years, to create the UK's first on-street bike rental network, modelled on the successful Paris scheme.
Officials will encourage the provision of showers and lockers for people cycling to work, and also aim to double the number of children receiving cycling training.
Eleven other English towns and cities - York, Stoke, Blackpool, Cambridge, Chester, Colchester, Leighton Buzzard, Southend, Shrewsbury, Southport and Woking – have been named as demonstration areas for the scheme.
They will be added to the current six demonstration areas - Aylesbury, Brighton, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster.
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