Plans worth 30million to accelerate the Birmingham Cycle Revolution (BCR) have been endorsed by the Department for Transport after the city council’s ambitious plans impressed government ministers.
The council has been awarded a further 22.1million from the DfT’s Cycle City Ambition Grant scheme, which will be topped up by £7.9million of locally-sourced funding.
Covering the 2015-18 period, the new cash injection will build on progress made on the project since 2013 by extending the focus beyond the initial BCR area, which covered a 20 minute journey radius of the city centre.
It will focus the 11 green travel districts announced last year in the Birmingham Connected strategy looking to join up and integrate with wider transport such as the Sprint bus rapid transit plan.
As with the earlier work, the overarching aims of the latest BCR bid are to increase the attractiveness of cycling, reducing car usage, improving the health of citizens and the environment and improving transport connectivity for those without access to a car.
The target is for a 27 per cent increase in cycling in the BCR area by 2016 and for cycling to make up 5 per cent of all journeys by 2023 compared with less than 2 per cent at present.
In total, £118million of further funding was made available from the DfT to the eight cities that won grants from the initial phase of the Cycle City Ambition Grant.
Birmingham’s slice, worth a sixth of the total available, will enable the council to maintain funding at £10 per head of population (a benchmark recognised by many interest groups) for cycling until 2018.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City, who is also the city council’s cycle champion, said: “We are delighted the Government recognises that the council is committed to improving sustainable transport options in the city.
“This award is recognition of the fact we have made significant progress on delivering what we promised since receiving our first Cycle City Ambition Grant, and will take cycling investment up to £60million over five years.
“It is also a tribute to the fact we have a growing cycle community that is represented by people of all ages and backgrounds. We are relishing the challenge of making cycling an even easier mode of transport to access in the coming years because the benefits from a health, economic and environmental perspective are all huge.”
Highlights of the latest bid are:
Main Corridors (£15.000m) About half of the funding would cover high-quality “flagship” routes on five main corridors, with a high degree of segregation from both traffic and pedestrians in the busiest areas, significant schemes at main junctions, and/or use of quieter parallel routes to avoid difficult junctions or pinchpoints where necessary. It is expected that about 30km of route will be delivered in total. The identified corridors are as follows:
- A34 Birchfield Road/B4138 Kingstanding Road Corridor
- Lichfield Road/Tyburn Road/Walmley Road Corridor
- A45 Coventry Road Corridor
- A38 Bristol Road Corridor
- Harborne Road/Ridgacre Road.
Parallel Routes (£1.750m) Providing local, quieter routes into the local centres and transport hubs within the ten Green Travel Districts (excluding the city centre), with minor measures to identify routes and assist cyclists.
City Centre (£0.750m) An allocation has been made to build on proposals in Phase 1 to develop routes across the city core. In particular, a segregated through-route will be sought using the wide footways around parts of the Queensway.
Local Links (£1.500m) Part of this element will consist of small access schemes where Canal Works and Green Routes meet or cross main roads, and to connect these off-road routes to the on-road cycle network. The remainder will be used to create a pilot scheme of minor measures within a residential area of around 2.0 square kilometres, to improve connectivity and encourage short trips to local shops, schools, transport hubs and other facilities by cycling or walking. A suitable area for this pilot will be identified as part of an options appraisal.
Canal Works (£6.000m) Towpath improvements undertaken in Phase 1 will be extended to the remainder of the city’s canal network including the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and the Soho Loop on the Birmingham Main Line Canal. There will also be access improvements at a number of locations, and (subject to agreement with Canal and River Trust) widening of the towpath in the Edgbaston Tunnel on the Worcs & B’ham Canal.
Green Routes (£2.250m) Further improvements to parks paths to make them suitable for cycling in all weathers, including by family and leisure cyclists. This will include further works on Tame Valley Way, Cole Valley Route, and Rea Valley Route along with widening / resurfacing of paths in Sheldon Country Park, The Valley Parkway, Castle Parkway, Woodgate Valley, and Harborne Walkway.
20mph (£0.250m) No further large-scale 20mph areas are proposed under this phase of BCR, pending the results from the pilot areas. However, a programme of variable 20mph speed limit signing is proposed in and around schools on main roads, particularly in and around the Green Travel Districts.
Supporting Measures These will be particularly focused on the Green Travel Districts and will include Cycle Parking/Hubs (£0.500m), Private Cycle Parking Grants/Top Cycle Location (£0.500m), Cycle Hire/Brompton Docks (£0.350m), and an extension to the Big Birmingham Bikes initiative from Phase 1 to more parts of the city (£0.400m).
Notes to editors
1. Investment in the Birmingham Cycle Revolution is currently profiled as follows:
Phase One: £17million from the DfT’s Cycle City Ambition Grant scheme, topped up by local funding to reach a total of £24.3million
Phase Two: A provisional allocation £8million for 2015-19 through the LEPs Local Growth Fund (Â£6million) topped up by £2million locally contribution)
Phase Three: The bid outlined in this news release – £22.1million from the Department for Transports Cycle City Ambition Grant scheme, which would be topped up by £7.9million of locally-sourced funding.
2. The 11 Green Travel Districts, as announced in the Birmingham Connected Plan last year, are: City Centre; JLR including Castle Vale and The Fort; Life Sciences including Selly Oak district centre; Perry Barr including Witton Food Hub and the Advanced Manufacturing Hub; Small Heath and Bordesley Green retail area; Soho Road retail area; ITEC Park including Longbridge Town Centre; Tyseley Environmental District; Kings Heath and High Street; Northfield Town Centre; and Sutton Coldfield Town Centre.
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