Silver cyclists step up a gear

By on 04/04/2014 in Cllr McKay, News

Residents at a Birmingham retirement village are proving that cycling is a mode of transport for people of all ages thanks to a travel plan agreed with the city council.

The ExtraCare Village on the Hagley Road was opened in November 2013 and one of the conditions attached to its operation through the planning process was the provision of regular cycle training for residents.

A total of 240 units for 350 residents aged over 55 are provided at the Village, the third of at least five proposed ExtraCare Villages across Birmingham - all of which are set to offer similar cycling activities.

And the early sessions, which included supervised rides on the nearby Harborne Walkway, have been so successful at the Hagley Road Village, some participants have even ridden bikes for the first time in 40 years.

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, who is also Birmingham City Council's Cycle Champion, said: “The interest in these sessions has been amazing, and shows that we can achieve something truly inspirational through the city council's travel plan process.

“The city's built environment is always changing, so we have to ensure that we make sure that sustainable modes of transport are given every chance to flourish - I am delighted ExtraCare have shown an enthusiasm to roll this out at their other cities in the city.

“Cycling is a great leisure pursuit, and by improving the skills of residents at this Village, we are enabling them to use a greener mode of transport that is also good for their health and wellbeing. I hope this inspires many other similar settings to follow the lead that has been set here.”

During the most recent session at the Hagley Road Village on April 1, residents were given a chance to trial electric bikes and trikes, supplied by Sutton Coldfield based Trikes and Bikes.

ExtraCare's Well-being and Community Manager Shirley Hall said: “This is a great initiative, and ties in really well with our health and well-being programme that aims to keep our residents healthy, well and prevent the onset of long term conditions where possible.”

Pictures from the latest session can be downloaded from the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed here

ENDS

Notes to editors

About The ExtraCare Charitable Trust: The ExtraCare Charitable Trust enables older people to enjoy a healthier, active and more independent lifestyle in a network of inspirational communities.

Founded in 1988, ExtraCare is a registered charity based in Coventry. It operates 3,831 homes within 14 retirement villages and 17 smaller housing developments across the Midlands and the North. Each Housing Scheme or Village has 5 to 18 social, health and leisure facilities that are accessible to over 4,000 residents and up to 5,000 older people living in surrounding communities.

For more information, please visit www.extracare.org.uk

ExtraCare’s five-year strategy (2011-2016) includes a £200m development programme to complete at least five Villages in Birmingham with the City Council, as follows:

1. New Oscott Village, Erdington (opened 2010)
2. Pannel Croft Village, Newtown (opened 2012)
3. Hagley Road Village, Edgbaston (opened 2013)
4. Bournville Gardens, Bournville (opens 2015)

Further Birmingham retirement villages are also planned for Longbridge and Hall Green.

For further information about The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, please contact Lucy Henson, Communications Officer, on 0789 105 3062 or lucy.henson@extracare.org.uk

For more media information on Birmingham City Council's cycling plans and projects, please contact Kris Kowalewski at Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 3621

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