WORK is set to start within weeks on the Binley Cycleway in Coventry following confirmation of £8.6million funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The segregated cycle route will allow people to safely travel by bike from the city centre to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire via the Binley Business Park on Harry Weston Road.
Coventry City Council and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), have developed plans to deliver a cycle scheme that will form part of a wider 10km strategic East-West connection, linking with the Coundon Cycleway which is currently under construction.
It is designed to encourage more of the thousands of people who live, work and study along this busy route to swap their car for a bike on some journeys – easing congestion, improving air quality and reducing journey times; ultimately benefitting all road users.
The cycleway will be one of the first major routes delivered as part of the Starley Network, the West Midlands’ plan for a network covering 500 miles of existing routes and towpaths, planned cycling infrastructure and safe walking areas.
The scheme went through two rounds of public consultation, which saw 69 per cent of responses in favour of segregated cycleways, with respondent feedback applied to designs to deliver a scheme that residents asked for.
A further public consultation is planned where residents will have the opportunity to share their views on the updated design.
The final scheme has the potential to increase the number of daily cycle journeys taken in this area by over 400 per cent.
Councillor Patricia Hetherton, cabinet member for city services, said: “We know in Coventry that greater participation in cycling and walking improves health and wellbeing but people often tell me they don’t cycle more as they don’t feel safe.
“That’s why the Binley Cycleway is so important. It will fully separate people travelling by bike from motorists and will hopefully reduce those concerns. Increasing confidence of cyclists will really encourage more people to get on their bike and feel the benefits.”
Adam Tranter, Bicycle Mayor for Coventry, said: “This is brilliant news for the many people who want to cycle more for health, to reduce congestion and improve air quality but feel that cycling isn’t safe enough for them in Coventry.
“We’ve seen already the demand for better cycling infrastructure; the new Coundon cycleway – which serves several schools – has been very busy before it’s even officially opened.”
He added: “This will hopefully be the start of a genuine connected cycling network in Coventry where short journeys by car can be replaced with cycle trips.
“Around a quarter of car journeys in England are under two miles; distances many people say they would cycle if there were safe and attractive routes, separated from motor traffic.
“This is exactly what the Binley route will provide and, from the designs, is set to be one of the best cycleways in the country.”