In a move to encourage more people to embrace active travel, Solihull Council has shared its plans for three proposed temporary cycle lanes and invited residents to share their views.
Residents can view the plans and find out more information by visiting the online engagement platform at https://solihullactivetravel.commonplace.is/. The interactive website allows users to evaluate the proposals by answering questions and leaving comments. The consultation will run between 22nd February and 22nd March.
he three new temporary cycle lanes proposed are:
- Blossomfield Road – Solihull Town Centre
- Knowle High Street – Solihull Town Centre
- Meriden – Millisons Wood
The cost of this project will be met from the Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund grant to Transport for West Midlands, part of West Midlands Combined Authority.
Announced in November 2020, the Active Travel Fund continues on the momentum gained through the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) introduced earlier in 2020 which implemented temporary schemes to support the 2m social distancing requirements on some of Solihull’s busiest routes.
The Active Travel Fund removes the ‘emergency’ element of the EATF programme and seeks to deliver high quality cycle provision including temporary segregated cycle lanes. The fund will give people greater opportunities to choose cycling for their day-to-day journeys, as part of wider government plans to boost active travel.
The routes put forward as part of the Active Travel Fund have been selected to support the Cycling Network Plan outlined in Solihull’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.
The routes connecting Dickens Heath and Knowle into the town centre will make use of and improve existing space. Evidence gathered from recent consultation on the council’s Cycling and Walking Strategy identified safety as a key barrier to cycling. The introduction of high quality segregated cycle provision aims to address safety issues and enable more people to take up cycling.
During the consultation there was a strong preference (76% of participants) for segregated cycle routes and the three proposed temporary routes reflect this. National data has also shown a lack of safe cycle storage as a barrier to cycling for commuter and retail journeys. This fund will provide an opportunity to improve cycle storage provision across the borough.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: “Since the West Midlands was awarded £13m a part of the Government’s active travel grant in November 2020, it’s great to see the proposed schemes coming to life and being put forward for consultation.
“I’m delighted to see proposals being developed for three new temporary cycle lanes in Solihull, which have the real potential to encourage residents to get back on their bikes and cycle with confidence.
“By introducing high quality segregated cycle lanes, the Active Travel Fund will provide Solihull residents with a sustainable travel network between key locations in the Borough, as well as delivering well-known health and well-being benefits associated with cycling”.
“These are exciting times for cyclists in the borough, and I can’t wait to be able to bring our Cycle Hire scheme to the town in the coming months."
Cllr Ken Hawkins, Sollihull Council cabinet portfolio holder for environment and highways said: “It’s fantastic to learn more about these three exciting projects which further encourage everyone to cycle with confidence around the Borough. By providing residents with high quality cycle infrastructure, we are making active travel a safer and more attractive option. Encouraging sustainable travel is one of our key objectives in achieving net zero emissions across the Borough by 2041.
“It’s great to see the funding secured as part of the West Midlands Active Travel Fund being put to good use. This level of investment will bring significant health and well-being benefits for the residents of Solihull. I’d encourage all of those interested in cycling, whether it’s for leisure, fitness or commuting to learn more about the proposals and share their feedback as part of this consultation."