Cycling and walking routes to be improved on roads in Wolverhampton and Wednesbury

Roads in Wolverhampton and Wednesbury will be made safer for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.

A £17 million fund been awarded to Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to make a series of roads across the Black Country, Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull easier to use as part a network of cycling and walking trails.

The new network will be named in honour of Coventry’s Starley family, who were innovators of the modern cycle.

Two roads in Wolverhampton will be improved for walkers and cyclists – the A454 and Wednesfield Road (A4124). In the Black Country, local connections for cycling and walking will be enhanced at the Wednesbury Brierly Hill Extension.

Bradford Street running through Digbeth will be one Birmingham street to see its cycleways and walkways improved, as will the busy Bristol Road running through central Selly Oak. TfWM said this will be an extension of the existing A38 blue route and improve safety.

The schemes included in the funding are:

  • Birmingham East Side (BES) – Bradford Street

  • Birmingham: A38 – Selly Oak Local Centre

  • Black Country: Wednesbury Brierley Hill Extension (WBHE) – local connections for cycling and walking

  • Coventry: Binley Road, Coventry University to University Hospital

  • Birmingham – Places for People

  • Wolverhampton: A454

  • Wolverhampton: Wednesfield Road – A4124

  • Solihull: Walking Improvements (various locations)

  • Coventry: Earlsdon Active Travel Scheme

  • Coventry: Spon End Active Travel Scheme

  • Regional Contraflow Cycling Project

  • Regional School Streets Programme

On top of the new government funding allocated to cycling and walking safety, TfWM announced that the West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme has seen over 210,000 journeys in its first year.

Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor and chair of the WMCA, said: “This new grant is testament to the ambition we’ve shown to Government for Active Travel. This extra cash for cycling and walking builds on the £254m already awarded to schemes that enable Active Travel as part of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS).”

“Our investment in Active Travel so far has already resulted in new safe cycle routes as well as the popular West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme, but there is more to do. The way we move in our towns and cities is changing and this new money will help to make it easier for people to switch their journeys to more active modes.”

Adam Tranter, West Midlands cycling and 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.”

Councillor Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council added: “About four in ten car journeys are under two miles so getting more people to swap their car for a bike or a walk can make a huge difference to the traffic gridlock on our streets – improving safety and air quality.

“That is why we are committed to continuing to increase our investment in cycling, walking and of course public transport over the next few years.”

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