Transport for West Midlands has been awarded a £17 million Government grant to boost active travel and make it safer for people to cycle, walk and wheel.
It will fund the delivery of 12 schemes which will form part of the Starley Network, including protected cycleways, school streets and safer crossings.
The West Midlands has bold ambitions to increase journeys taken by cycling, walking or wheeling in order to help ease congestion, clean up our air and improve the region’s health.
This funding award shows the Government’s confidence in the region to deliver measures that will support its residents to take more journeys by active travel. This is the third allocation of Active Travel Fund money awarded to the region by the Department for Transport since 2020.
The projects have been developed and will be delivered by local councils working in partnership with TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
These include cycle routes in Selly Oak as part of an extension of the existing A38 blue route, which will also improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians around the shopping district.
Other schemes include a high-quality multi-modal corridor along the A454 between Wolverhampton & Walsall. Earlier waves of active travel investment have delivered a wide range of projects including the West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme, which has seen over 210,000 journeys in its first year.
Safe cycleways are currently being delivered, including along the A457 corridor from Birmingham City Centre to Smethwick and free cycle racks for businesses which have supported more people to cycle to work. Adam Tranter, West Midlands cycling & walking commissioner, said:
“We know that we need to make it safer for people walking and cycling in order to help reduce reliance on cars for short journeys.
"This funding announcement marks yet another critical step forward in moving everyday short journeys onto foot or bike, marking clear intent in the West Midlands to ensure active travel becomes the new norm of travel in our towns and cities.
"As the cycling and walking commissioner for the region, I aim to work with local partners to ensure the infrastructure that is delivered as a result of this funding is high quality and can be enjoyed by anyone.
"By giving people genuine choice in how they choose to travel, we hope to create a domino effect that helps improve our air quality, boosts people’s mental and physical health and aids our #WM2041 target for a net-zero carbon region.”
This investment will be further increased through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement which includes a number of cycling and walking schemes as part of a five-year transport investment programme. In total, £254m has been allocated to schemes in CRSTS that enable active travel.