A CYCLING network in Coventry will benefit from £13million worth of Government funding.
The second round of Active Travel Fund cash, from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and partner councils, will pay for The Starley Network announced in the summer.
Named in honour of the Starley family of Coventry industrialists who pioneered bicycle manufacturing, the network pulls together almost 500 miles of existing routes and towpaths, planned cycling infrastructure and safe walking areas.
The new funding means planned projects, such as the segregated cycle route from Coventry City Centre to the University Hospital, can now go ahead. A new segregated cycle route will also link Foleshill to the city centre.
The Department for Transport (DfT) grant follows £3.85million from the first round of funding in the summer which has already been used on fast track schemes to improve safety for cycling and walking.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said he was delighted with the boost which would enable more of the network to be completed and ultimately more people cycling.
“We all know cycling and walking are good for our physical health and good for the environment, especially as we face up to the climate emergency in the region.
“But many are not yet confident enough to get out on two wheels because they do not believe the right infrastructure is in place.
“That is why we have launched the Starley Network – a network of safe, well-maintained routes between our cities, towns and villages – to address these concerns.”
The grant means TfWM, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will have invested more £40million in cycling and walking infrastructure over the last two years.
Coun Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, added the first round of funding had already started to make a difference by creating more safe spaces for walking and cycling and by reducing traffic.
“TfWM, working with its council partners, is delivering long-term improvements to offer people a safe, healthy and fun alternative to the car while helping us reduce traffic congestion and improve the air we breathe.”
The active travel investment meets the WMCA’s aim of improving health and reducing carbon emissions set out in the region’s #WMCA2041 plan to tackle climate change.