Green light sought for green cycling routes

By on 13/01/2014 in Cllr McKay, News

A package of improvements to cycling routes in Birmingham's parks and river valleys is due before the city council's Cabinet on January 20.

The £1.7million Green Routes plan is part of the wider Birmingham Cycle Revolution (BCR) project, supported by £17million of central government Cycle City Ambition Grant (CCAG) funding, awarded to the city last year.

And it comes just a month after councillors approved another key element of the BCR plan - improvements to 30km of canal towpaths, work on which is due to begin imminently.

The 11km (6.8-mile) Green Routes plan will include an upgrade of existing or informal routes to provide a smoother ride and a review of access control barriers which prevent misuse by motorcycles. Routes set for work include:

• River Tame Way - Part new route and part improvements to existing, from Perry Barr to Old Walsall Road (near Hamstead Station) via Perry Hall Playing Fields and Cherry Orchard Recreation Ground (estimated cost £345,000)

• North Birmingham Route - Local signing improvements in the vicinity of M6 viaducts to improve legibility of the route from the Tame Valley Canal to the corridors improved under the recent Bike North Birmingham programme (estimated cost £10,000)

• Cole Valley Route (north) - Completing the surfaced route along the green corridor between Stechford and the Grand Union Canal at Small Heath (The Ackers), including improvements to the access onto the canal (indicative cost £680,000).  Some sections of this route may have to deviate away from the green corridor due to land ownership issues

• Cole Valley Route (south) - Upgrading the unsurfaced sections of the route between Small Heath (The Ackers) and Billesley / Yardley Wood (approximate cost £620,000)

• Rea Valley Route - Minor surfacing, signing and access improvements to existing route between the City Centre and the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Lifford (estimated cost £45,000)

If approved, the Green Routes work would start in February and be completed by October 2014.

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city at Birmingham City Council, said: “This work on our Green Routes is a key part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution jigsaw.

“I am delighted that it is starting to take shape and we are making the city a better place to cycle in - whether it is for commuting or leisure purposes.

“More improvements are due to be announced in the coming months and they will significantly improve our sustainable transport options.”

A further £0.7million has been set aside for local links between the off-road Green Routes and the main on-street cycle network.

This will be covered as part of proposals for the remaining elements of the wider programme, covering the city centre, main routes, parallel routes for the less confident cyclist and other supporting measures. They are due to be brought before Cabinet in the coming months.

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Birmingham Cycle Revolution is a £22.95million programme (part-funded by a £17million government grant) which seeks to promote sustainable travel options by increasing the attractiveness of cycling, which will contribute to reducing car usage, improving health and the environment, and improving connectivity for households without a car. The target is for a 27 per cent increase in cycling in the CCAG area (a 20 minute travelling distance to the city centre) by 2016 and cycling to make up 5 per cent of all journeys by 2023. Many of the proposals will also benefit pedestrians, public transport and road safety.

The proposals will support the City Council's policy objectives, particularly Succeed Economically, Stay Safe in a Clean Green City, Be Healthy, and Enjoy a High Quality of Life. They will also support the aspirations of the emerging Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) and Birmingham Mobility Action Plan (BMAP).

Additionally, the project supports the targets set out in the West Midlands Local Transport Plan in terms of economic regeneration, increasing the mobility of labour markets, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging sustainable travel options, and enhancing the quality of the public realm.

For more media information please contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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