Better for walkers and cyclists as Solihull village toasts innovation - The Solihull Observer
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18th Aug, 2022

Better for walkers and cyclists as Solihull village toasts innovation

Ross Crawford 29th Mar, 2022

A COMMUNITY-LED scheme in Berkswell has delivered safer and direct routes both to the local school and to the village centre.

Following an initial proposal from Berkswell Parish Council, £250,000 was awarded to deliver improvements, including a new zebra crossing and new footpaths.

The scheme was developed in response to inadequate parking around the local primary school, combined with traffic using the village as a rat-run.

The improvements aim to increase safety and enable more people to walk or cycle shorter local journeys.

Transport for West Midlands’ Better Streets fund, which backs projects identified and championed by local communities provided money for Solihull Council to fully design and deliver the scheme.

It includes traffic calming measures at all four entrance points, drastically reducing the speed of through traffic as well as an agreement to use of a local hospitality car park which has meant parents can park up and walk the rest of the way into the village with their children.

Adam Tranter, West Midlands Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: “Delivering local schemes such as this one helps people feel safer swapping to cycling or walking some of their short journeys.

“This is vital if we are going to improve our air quality, health, reduce congestion and generally create nicer places for us to live.”

Councillor Ken Hawkins, environment and infrastructure portfolio holder for Solihull Council said: “In our Solihull cycling and walking strategy, we pledge to develop a network of safe cycle and walking routes, recognising the important role that this improved infrastructure has to play in boosting physical activity and well-being by shaping the way we move around the borough.”

Andrew Burrow, Berkswell Parish Councillor added: “The use of the village as a rat-run for though traffic and lack of appropriate parking provisions, has meant for years the hundreds of school children, church members and other visitors that come to the village each week have not felt comfortable walking or cycling short local journeys.

“This community project is widely seen as having a major impact on reducing risk and has delivered not just a safe way for kids to get to school, but has made the village itself safer and more pleasant to walk, cycle and spend time in.”

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