FUNDING has been secured to support the better design, planning and development of cycling, wheeling and walking schemes in region.
The £3.5million grant from Active Travel England’s Capability Fund will be used by Transport for West Midlands (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 has recent years invested more than £50 million in a wide range of active travel schemes from the £8million 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 three, the highest level awarded to local authorities in England.
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.”
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.
“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.”