ALL new Bolton road schemes will have to be "cycle-friendly" before they will be given the go ahead in future.

It is part of a town hall strategy which is aiming to encourage more people to get on their bikes.

A final version of the council's local cycling strategy for Bolton is set to be launched during National Bike Week in June.

And among the proposals is that all major highway schemes and planning applications will be subject to a "cycle audit" with the aim of making them as cycle-friendly as possible.

Cllr Jack Foster, planning and environment committee chairman, said: "The more people we can encourage to take to their bikes, the better.

"The strategy has been drawn together and we are now going public so that people can add their comments or suggestions and help us get it right."

The council is hoping that by 2002, double the number of people will be biking in Bolton.

In 1991, census figures showed that 1.3 pc of journeys to work in Bolton were by pedal power, but it is hoped that a special network of cycle routes will encourage more people to get on their bikes.

The plan also includes the introduction of more safety measures for cyclists such as cycle lanes, cycle tracks next to the highways, the use of low-trafficked routes and off road routes for the cycle network and to make crossings at junctions and roundabouts safer.

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