The West Midlands will benefit from more safe cycling and walking routes following the award of £12.6 million from Active Travel England.
In this case, the funding will enable Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and council partners to deliver ten new cycling and walking projects in Birmingham, Coventry, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
To launch Active Travel Fund 4 nationally, Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP visited Coventry’s Binley Cycleway to meet local residents and school children already benefitting from new cycling infrastructure.
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.
New projects being funded include the following:
- 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.
Construction on these projects must commence by the end of March 2024.
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 £34 million since 2020 which 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.
Councillor Patricia Hetherton, cabinet member for city services said, “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.”
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change for Coventry City Council, said, “We are working hard to create top notch cycling routes here in Coventry. We know people are put off cycling if their only option is to ride on the road and we are already seeing use of our new segregated routes rise month on month.
“This work isn’t about people getting rid of their cars, it’s about encouraging local people to choose to make some local journeys by cycling, wheeling or walking. Of course it’s good for health and the environment too.
“This next round of cash will enable us to provide improved cycling facilities in the city centre as well as connecting the Binley Cycleway to New Century Park.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and