New routes opened at Bike North Birmingham launch

By on 30/08/2011 in News

Bike North Birmingham launchCity Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration, Cllr Tim Huxtable, has launched a major £6.5 million initiative to promote cycling and walking in the north of the city.

And, in a double boost, he joined Yvonne Gillian, Sustrans Regional Director for the West Midlands, to officially open a series of new walking and cycling routes through Pype Hayes Park, linking Penns Lane and Eachelhurst Road.

Last month the City Council secured a Government grant of more than £4.1m, toward the £6.5m 'Bike North Birmingham' project.

Providing physical improvements to cycling/walking routes, signage, safety and better connections across a 52km2 area to the north of the city, the project will aim to introduce 30km of cycle and pedestrian connections.

Funds will be used for a variety of initiatives to promote the new improvements and encourage people to take up more cycling and walking.

Birmingham City Council will be working with local schools, employers and in the community to provide cycle training, basic bike maintenance, long and short term bike loans, creation of a 'one stop shop' project website for cycling information and a range of promotional activities and events designed to get more people cycling more often.

Cllr Huxtable said: “The whole project and new routes such as this one through Pype Hayes Park will provide a catalyst to transform and significantly increase cycling in North Birmingham. This will not only reduce congestion on our roads but cut carbon emissions and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future for our City.

“By introducing better and more direct links to schools, employment hubs, and leisure services we can really open up a wealth of opportunities to people of all ages.  Bike North Birmingham aims to transform local cycling, showing just how much fun, fitness and freedom can be had by taking to two wheels.”

The new walking and cycling routes in Pype Hayes Park are part of the lottery-funded, Sustrans Connect2 Project in north Birmingham which is now forming the basis of the new Bike North Birmingham route network.

Yvonne Gilligan added, “It's fantastic to see these routes being built, providing safe and attractive spaces for people to walk and cycle for their everyday journeys in north east Birmingham.

“When complete, the project will link a number of communities, providing links over the Chester Road and into the Pype Hayes estate, Sorrell Park and Castle Vale, as well as linking to the existing canal towpath, to provide a link into the heart of Birmingham.”

To mark the opening of the new routes, a Bank Holiday activity day for cyclists and walkers was held in Pype Hayes Park.

Discover how to get around everyday on foot or by bike and find what your local area has to offer with our free online mapping. Find it at www.sustrans.org.uk or download the free app for iphones – The complete National Cycle Network – from the iTunes store.

ENDS

For more information from Birmingham City Council please contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

For more information on Sustrans or to request interviews, please contact Matt Hemsley, Sustrans Press Office
Tel 0117 915 0123 / Email: matthew.hemsley@sustrans.org.uk

Photographs of the launch event and activity day are available via the following link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/sets/72157627552956368/

Notes for Editors

  • The Government’s funding award to Bike North Birmingham is in part a reflection of the strong and neccessary partnership that has developed around the concept.  The success of the project will rely on a range of elements being undertaken by organisations with the necessary specialist skills and experience.
  • The City Council’s Sport and Leisure service, and NHS Public Health through the Birmingham Health and Wellbeing Partnership, will extend the award winning BeActive physical activity programme with Bike North Birmingham’s community based, health focussed cycling promotion.
  • Sustrans is the charity that's enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day. Our work makes it possible for people to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys, with better places and spaces to move through and live in.  It's time we all began making smarter travel choices. Make your move and support Sustrans today. www.sustrans.org.uk
  • Sustrans believes every child deserves to be free range, with freedom from their front door to explore, play outdoors, and make their own way to school and beyond.  Find out more, join in and speak out for Free Range Kids at www.sustrans.org.uk/freerangekids
  • Sustrans' flagship project, the National Cycle Network, is now around 13,000 miles long and within one mile of 58 per cent of the British population. It carries over one million walking and cycling journeys every day.
  • There are around 3.000 volunteers helping to look after the National Cycle Network.
  • Sustrans' Connect2 is a UK-wide project that will transform local travel in communities, creating new bridges and crossings to overcome busy roads, rivers and railways, and linking these to networks of walking and cycling routes, making it easier for millions of people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys.
  • Sustrans’ Connect2 won £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks: The People’s Millions as a result of a public vote televised on ITV1 in December 2007.  This is the largest ever single lottery grant.  Combined with match funding, the project is worth £142million.
  • Sustrans is calling on UK governments to invest in doubling the number of journeys under five miles made by foot, bike and public transport to four out of five by 2020.
  • The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888
    Out of hours: 07867 500 572
    Full details of Big Lottery Fund projects and grant awards are available at: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

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