Plans worth £30million to accelerate the Birmingham Cycle Revolution have been endorsed by the Department for Transport after the city council’s ambitious plans impressed government ministers.
The council has been awarded a further £22.1million from the DfT’s Cycle City Ambition Grant scheme, which will be topped up by £7.9million of locally-sourced funding.
Covering the 2015-18 period, the new cash injection will build on progress made on the project since 2013 by extending the focus beyond the initial BCR area, which covered a 20 minute journey radius of the city centre.
It will focus the 11 green travel districts announced last year in the Birmingham Connected strategy – looking to join up and integrate with wider transport such as the Sprint bus rapid transit plan.
As with the earlier work, the overarching aims of the latest BCR bid are to increase the attractiveness of cycling, reducing car usage, improving the health of citizens and the environment and improving transport connectivity for those without access to a car.
The target is for a 27 per cent increase in cycling in the BCR area by 2016 – and for cycling to make up 5 per cent of all journeys by 2023 compared with less than 2 per cent at present.
In total, £118million of further funding was made available from the DfT to the eight cities that won grants from the initial phase of the Cycle City Ambition Grant.
Birmingham’s slice, worth a sixth of the total available, will enable the council to maintain funding at £10 per head of population (a benchmark recognised by many interest groups) for cycling until 2018.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City, who is also the city council’s cycle champion, said: “We are delighted the Government recognises that the council is committed to improving sustainable transport options in the city.
“This award is recognition of the fact we have made significant progress on delivering what we promised since receiving our first Cycle City Ambition Grant, and will take cycling investment up to £60million over five years.
“It is also a tribute to the fact we have a growing cycle community that is represented by people of all ages and backgrounds. We are relishing the challenge of making cycling an even easier mode of transport to access in the coming years because the benefits from a health, economic and environmental perspective are all huge.”