Council unveils new cycling initiative from £4.1m funding

Thousands of keen cyclists can now enjoy new routes and cycling activities as a result of £4.1m funding for Bike North Birmingham.

The project, funded by the government, aims to get more people cycling more often, with fun, healthy and sustainable cycling activities.  The city council launched a series of events, one of which took place in Pype Hayes Park.  The initiative is set to transform the profile of cycling in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield over the next four years.

It will invest in a mix of on and off-road routes as well as new or improved safe crossing facilities which include:
•    Travel to work, local centres and rail stations – we are providing cycle training, promotional and educational activities, basic bike maintenance training and grants to help cover the cost of cycling facilities.
•    Travel to school – working with local schools to provide cycle training for pupils, parents and staff.  Organising activities aimed at creating a long-term pro-cycling culture such as recruitment and training of local school champions and basic bike maintenance training.
•    Community biking – delivering a range of services through two ‘Community Cycle Hubs’ at Sutton Coldfield and Erdington Leisure Centres, where people can access long and short term bike hire, cycle training, bike maintenance and training.
The launch event included a mountain bike extravaganza event, demonstrations for quirky pedal power ideas including making your own smoothie and music by bike.  Other activities include Dr Bike, free health check s for bikes and security tagging from West Midlands Police.  Further events including the activities above will take place on Saturday 26th May – Sutton Town Centre (Outside BHS).  Sunday 27th May – Castle Vale Shopping Centre (Outside chemist).

Bike North Birmingham is a Birmingham City Council project delivered in partnership with Sustrans and BeActive.

Ends

For media enquiries only contact Karen Blanchette on 0121 303 6969.
Notes to editors:
•    The City Council bid to the Government’s new Local Sustainable Transport Fund for Bike North Birmingham last year and was awarded £4.1m in July 2011.

•    Bike North Birmingham intends to get more people cycling in and around the Erdington and Sutton Coldfield areas. Whether to school, the shops, work or to visit friends, Bike North Birmingham gives people an alternative option to car travel that is fun, healthier and cheaper.

•    Working directly with schools, local workplaces, rail stations and in our dedicated bike hubs, Bike North Birmingham will give practical advice, information and support; everything cyclists need to get bike smart and confident.  They will also deliver the infrastructure, developing existing dedicated cycle routes and creating more.

•    For more information about Bike North Birmingham email bikenorthbirmingham@birmingham.gov.uk or visit www.bikenorthbirmingham.org.uk

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