New £2 million local fund announced at West Midlands’ first Cycling Summit

A £2 million fund has been launched to help communities make their streets safer and encourage more cycling and walking.

The Better Streets Fund was announced by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street at the region’s first Cycling Summit.

The event, which attracted almost 100 attendees, was hosted by former world BMX and track cycling champion Shanaze Reade, the first event in her new role as West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador.

The Better Streets Fund is part of a continued commitment by the Combined Authority to improve cycling and walking opportunities in the region. As well as upping the spending on cycling to £10 per person per year, the authority is also looking to invest up to £250 million to improve cycling infrastructure.

As part of the new fund, communities from across the region will be able to put in bids for improvements to their streets designed to encourage more people to cycle or walk. Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said:

“As well as being great exercise and a fun way to explore the region, cycling and walking are crucial to reducing congestion and tackling climate change. We do not want any obstacles stopping people getting out on two wheels or on two feet, and that is why we have launched this fund.

“People might want a new road crossing, somewhere to padlock a bike or measures to stop cars parking on pavements. Whatever your idea is to improve the cycling and walking experience, we want to hear it."

In 2011 just 1.7% of journeys in the region were by bike, but Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, has set ambitious targets to raise this to 5% by 2023. West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador, Shanaze Reade, added:

“I’ll be out and about in communities across the West Midlands, promoting the development of cycling and walking – especially with schools and young people. I’m really excited about helping people discover the amazing benefits of cycling and walking.

“You’ll have fun, save money, be more independent and feel better physically and mentally. And cycling helps to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.”

The Better Streets Fund will be used to pay for small scale improvements and infrastructure which encourages cycling and walking.

This funding will initially be targeted towards communities in the most deprived neighbourhoods and the aim is to ensure a range of bids from Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

To find out more about the fund or make a bid visit


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