£3.5 million funding awarded to boost cycling and walking across the West Midlands
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has secured almost £3.5 million funding to support the better design, planning and development of cycling, wheeling and walking schemes in region.
The grant from Active Travel England’s Capability Fund will be used by TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and local council partners to increase the resource and expertise required to deliver the region’s ambitious active travel plans.
The funding will deliver green jobs and enable the West Midlands to ensure its new cycle routes and lanes and projects are of the highest quality, meeting latest Government design standards.
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has over recent years invested more than £50 million in a wide range of active travel schemes from the £8 million Binley Road Cycleway in Coventry to smaller neighbourhood-based schemes through the Better Streets Community Fund.
Future funding awarded via the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) will see further investment on schemes that support active travel.
Local authorities have been assessed by Active Travel England, an agency of the Department for Transport, on their capability and political will to deliver active travel schemes. TfWM was assessed as being in level 3, the highest level awarded to local authorities in England.
Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor and WMCA chair, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence from Active Travel England on our ability as a region to deliver transformative cycling and walking projects.
“We have already delivered record investment in cycling and walking infrastructure over recent years including the hugely successful West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme and our growing Starley Network of safe cycleways.
“We are not stopping there – we are making further investment in transport schemes that will enable active travel over the next five years. This £3.5m of new funding will help the region build its staffing capacity to ensure they are designed and delivered to the highest possible standard, all whilst creating new green jobs in the region.”
Adam Tranter, West Midlands Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: “We fully welcome the Government’s commitment to active travel and are pleased to be working closely with Active Travel England on ensuring we use active travel to deliver green growth for the West Midlands.
“We have unprecedented capital funding but we now need to grow capacity across the region to deliver these projects quickly and effectively so we can provide new low-cost transport choices to people in the region.”