On 30th January 2013 it was announced that the Department for Transport would be investing up to £42 million in cycling infrastructure through the Cycle City Ambition Grant.
The funding runs until April 2015 and Birmingham is one of the cities eligible to apply for this funding. The City Council, with the support of numerous partners, will be submitting a detailed bid for in excess of £10 million.
The city want to deliver an ambitious 20 year plan to support cyclists across our city. The Birmingham Cycle Revolution will deliver a step-change in levels of cycling and the Cycle City Ambition Grant application builds on key cycling projects such as Bike North Birmingham and the LSTF Smart Network, Smarter Choices project.
The application to the Cycle City Ambition Grant forms the first stage in the Birmingham Cycle Revolution. It focuses on investment in cycling infrastructure and facilities, building on our existing cycle network, making the best use of our canal network and green corridors and developing a comprehensive on-road network offering significantly improved cycling conditions. This, alongside wider Smarter Choice initiatives, such as TravelWise, Top Cycle Location, Women on Wheels and Be Active, will: improve the overall cycling experience; increase participation; improve access to employment and training; improve health and activity; and decrease car dependency.
The proposals being considered for inclusion in the bid are still at an early stage. If the bid is successful the proposals will need to be designed and planned in more detail and to do this the team will be working closely with local communities, businesses and stakeholders. There will be opportunities for the public to influence the proposals as part of this process over the coming months. However, at this early stage, suggestions and general comments on how the above vision are achieved are very welcome.
How to get involved?
The Department of Transport want to demonstrate an appetite for cycling from the people of Birmingham, and have created a simple online form where they can pledge their support and make comments. Anything you can do to raise awareness of this and encourage your members/employees/customers and so forth to visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/bcr would help build the campaign. This could be, for example: inclusion in a newsletter; an email to your mailing list; a link from your website, Facebook or Twitter account; or all of the above.
If you have any comments or questions about plans or want to talk about cycling in general, you can email [email protected] or call Mike Cooper, Smarter Choices Manager on 0121 303 7249.