List of cycle routes set to be built or upgraded after ?12m funding boost
Ten new cycle and walking routes will go ahead after the West Midlands were awarded £12.6m from Active Travel England. The major funding boost will allow projects to be delivered in Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Coventry.
It includes a £2.6m expansion of safe cycle route at Wolverhampton Ring Road, a £780,00 Moseley Cycle Spur link on Alcester Road between Chantry Road and St Mary’s Row and £680,000 active travel measures in Birmingham city centre.
The region has set out ambitious plans to increase journeys by cycling, walking or wheeling in order to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions, improve air quality and improve the region’s health. Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and council partners will work together in the delivery, while construction must commence by the end of March 2024.
New projects being funded include:
- Wolverhampton Ring Road – expansion of safe cycle route £2.6m
- Cycle safety measures around Coventry city centre £2.3m
- Moseley Cycle Spur – cycle link on Alcester Road between Chantry Road and St Mary’s Row £780,000
- Cycle route from Rose Hill to Pinson Road in Walsall £2.85m
- Connection linking New Century Park development in Coventry to the Binley Road Cycleway £550,000
- Extension of the completed Coundon Cycle Route in Coventry to serve the new developments at Keresley £2.2m
- Further £680,000 funding to support development of active travel measures in Birmingham city centre and a secure bike hangars scheme.
This is the region’s fourth allocation from the Active Travel Fund (ATF). TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has previously secured grants totalling almost £34m since 2020.
It has been used to implement a wide range of safe cycle and walking schemes including bike parking, safe cycle lanes and provide cycle training for communities. This is in addition to £1.05bn funding from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS), which is concentrated on sustainable modes including improvements for active and public transport
Among them is the Binley Cycleway in Coventry, which has been part funded through the second round of ATF, and when fully completed will link the city centre to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. Work is well progressed with about two-thirds of the route open to the public.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “Over recent years we have invested heavily in our active travel infrastructure, through schemes such as Binley Cycleway and West Midlands Cycle Hire. This is because we know that many more people will cycle if it is safer and more convenient for them to do so.
“We need to build a comprehensive network and this funding helps us continue this work. We want more people to choose active travel because it is better for the environment, can help reduce traffic congestion and it’s great for both our physical and mental health. And this new funding means that, along with our council partners, we can deliver infrastructure to make it even easier for people to choose active travel.”
Adam Tranter, West Midlands Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: “This funding from Government is welcome and helps us continue implementing our plans to make cycling and walking the natural first choice for short journeys in the region. As well as accelerating delivery we are working hard to develop a network pipeline of schemes ready for future funding opportunities; I believe this will help us secure even more funding for the region in future.”
He was joined by Government Transport Minister Jesse Norman, National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardmanm Coventry City Council cabinet members Cllrs Jim O’Boyle and Patricia Hetherton, as well as pupils from Sacred Heart Primary School for a visit to the Binley Cycleway this week.
Councillor Patricia Hetherton, cabinet member for city services, added, “We know that the provision of segregated cycleways in Coventry is encouraging people to get on their bikes for leisure and for local journeys. It’s great to see people of all ages enjoying the cycle lanes – but it’s especially good to see younger people using them – hopefully setting active and healthy travel choices for life.”
These new schemes will form part of the emerging Starley Network. Named in honour of the Starley family of Coventry industrialists who pioneered bicycle manufacturing, the Starley Network pulls together almost 500 miles of existing routes and towpaths, planned cycling infrastructure and safe walking areas.
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