A £3million programme of work to further improve cycle routes along canals in Birmingham are set for approval by the city council’s Cabinet on November 17.
The scheme, part of the wider Birmingham Cycle Revolution initiative, covers sections of five canals across the city – and follows two earlier phases of canal works, approved in December 2013 and May 2015 (worth a combined £8.175million).
Construction work will be delivered for the council by the Canal and River Trust, which will then become responsible for future maintenance of the sections of canal involved.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, said: “This latest package of work will enable us to complete our vision for a revamped canal cycle network in Birmingham.
“Canal routes offer a great way to get around the city by bike, and will link up to improved green off-road routes through our parks and improved on-road routes which will be developed in the future.
“Through the Birmingham Cycle Revolution initiative, we are making every effort to improve sustainable transport options – these routes will play a key part in that plan.”
Cllr Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy, added: “The ‘Birmingham Connected’ transport strategy, is all about ensuring as many sustainable modes of transport as possible are available, so people can get from A to B in the most effective way.
“Upgraded canal routes for cyclists will enhance the transport network in Birmingham – offering further options and alternatives to the improvements already being delivered through the Birmingham Cycle Revolution programme.”
The routes to be improved in this package of work, set to be carried out during 2016, are:
Tame Valley Canal (Perry Barr Ward): To extend the towpath improvement works carried out under Phase 1, from Walsall Road to the city boundary at Old Walsall Road. Approx length 1.1km, estimated cost £0.250m.
Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (Tyburn and Sutton New Hall Wards): To extend the Phase 1 works from Hansons Bridge Road to Cottage Lane and Wiggins Hill Road. There will also be minor improvements to accesses at Hansons Bridge Road (new balustrade), Forge Lane, the path linking to Old Kingsbury Road, and Wiggins Hill Road. Approx length 2.8km, estimated cost £0.600m.
Birmingham Main Line Canal ‘Soho Loop’ (Soho and Ladywood Wards): To extend the works carried out on the Main Line Canal in Phase 1, around the ‘Soho Loop’ (Birmingham Old Main Line) Canal. This will include minor improvements to the existing canal accesses at Asylum Bridge (near Birmingham Prison) and Western Road. Approx length 2.0km, estimated cost £0.450m.
Worcester & Birmingham Canal (Kings Norton Ward): An extension to the route completed in Phase 1, to take the towpath works from Kings Norton Junction (where it meets the Rea Valley Route and Stratford Canal) to the Wast Hill Tunnel near the Hawkesley Estate. Where the towpath ends at the tunnel entrance, the work will also include refurbishment of the ramp back up to road level. Approx length 2.1km, estimated cost £0.450m.
Stratford-upon-Avon Canal (Kings Norton, Billesley & Brandwood Wards): New sealed towpath surface on the whole of this canal within the Birmingham boundary, from Kings Norton Junction to the city boundary. Approx length 5.3km, estimated cost £1.175m.
The work on the Stratford Canal will also include minor improvements to the accesses at Kings Norton Junction, either end of Brandwood Tunnel (where there is no towpath and pedestrians and cyclists have to return to road level for a short distance), Warstock Lane, and Yardley Wood Road.
The schemes also include improved signing and wayfinding over the above lengths of towpath at a total estimated cost of £0.075m.
Notes to editors
Birmingham Cycle Revolution (BCR) is a Birmingham City Council initiative. The objective of BCR is to make cycling an everyday way to travel in Birmingham over the next 20 years. The aim is for 5 per cent of all trips in the city to be made by bike by 2023and to double this again to 10 per cent by 2033. This will help to make Birmingham healthier, greener, safer and less congested.
Through BCR, the council has already delivered improvements to canal towpaths and green routes with more schemes planned, and work is to soon begin to improve cycling facilities on the highway. This is supplemented by a package of ‘supporting measures’ including a folding bike hire scheme, grants to improve cycling facilities at businesses and educational establishments, and the giveaway of thousands of Big Birmingham Bikes to people living in less well-off communities.
For more information on BCR, progress updates or how you can get involved please contact the Birmingham Cycle Revolution team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @BhamCityCouncil #bcr or like Birmingham Cycle Revolution on Facebook.
For more media information please contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621