The Canal & River Trust, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council, has installed a new set of steps along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal allowing local people easy access from the canal to the local hospital and train station.
The project, which has been funded as part of Birmingham City Council’s Birmingham Cycle Revolution scheme, aims to improve 27 miles of canal towpath in and around the city centre as well as improving lighting and access to and from the canal.
This section of canal in Selly Oak is one of the busiest in the area and is frequently used by local people accessing the train station, local hospital and the University of Birmingham. These new steps are wider and deeper than the original set making them much safer to use. The steps also include cycle channels which allow bikes to be easily wheeled up and down the stairs.
Jonathan Pritchett, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “The old steps were hard work. Not only were they narrower and steeper but they didn’t have any cycle channels so cyclists had to carry their bikes up and down the steps, which wasn’t safe.
“These new steps will make accessing the canal much easier and will hopefully encourage more people to commute via the towpath rather than on busy roads.”
Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said: “The aim of Birmingham Cycle Revolution is to make cycling an everyday way to travel around our city and in order to encourage this we need to ensure that the city’s cycle routes are as attractive and accessible as possible.
“I am pleased that work to improve these steps has now been completed, ensuring that cyclists and pedestrians alike have greater access to our impressive canal network.”
As canal towpaths are busier than ever, the Canal & River Trust is asking all visitors to help keep waterways special and for walkers and cyclists to ‘Share the Space’ when visiting the regions canals.
For more information on the work of the Canal & River Trust, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk
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Notes to editors:
The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales, caring for the nation’s third largest collection of listed structures, as well as museums, archives, and hundreds of important wildlife sites.
We believe that living waterways transform places and enrich lives and our role is to make sure there is always a place on your doorstep where you can escape the pressures of everyday life, stretch your legs and simply feel closer to nature.
About Birmingham Cycle Revolution
Birmingham Cycle Revolution is a Birmingham City Council initiative that aims to make cycling an everyday way to travel in Birmingham over the next 20 years, with 5% of all trips in the city being made by bike by 2023, doubling this again to 10% by 2033. This will help to make the city healthier, greener, safer and less congested.
Birmingham Cycle Revolution’s objectives are to:
- Improve cycling conditions on popular main roads and parallel routes into the city centre;
- Provide quiet cycling routes and 20mph areas within residential areas;
- Upgrade towpaths on canals;
- Develop new cycling green routes through parks and open spaces;
- Improve local links to cycle routes;
- Provide new secure cycle parking hubs;
- Develop cycle loan and hire schemes to make it easier for people to get started.