Plans for pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements and many other measures to encourage more cycling and walking across the West Midlands have been given overwhelming backing from Government.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and its partner councils a £3.85 million grant to implement these fast-track measures over the next two months.
A list of more than 45 projects includes a pop-up cycle lane linking Coventry city centre to the Canal Basin, a Birmingham city centre cycle lane connecting the A38 and A34 blue routes, and road closures to improve pedestrian and cycle safety in Wolverhampton city centre.
The grant from the Emergency Active Travel Fund is £400,000 more than the West Midlands asked for and means that some projects could be accelerated or new schemes added to the list. The extra money is an indication of the strength of the region’s bid. TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the seven councils are now in discussion over the allocation of the extra funding. This wider investment includes the £23 million Transforming Cities Fund and a further £14 million Emergency Active Travel Fund grants, which are being used to create permanent cycling and walking infrastructure, including safe cycle routes.
The investment in active travel – the collective term for cycling and walking – also meets the WMCA’s aims of improving the region’s health and reducing carbon emissions as set out in the region’s #WM2041 plan to tackle climate change. For more information, click here.