Cyclists can now start enjoying improved routes across the wider city parks, green routes and canals as the new cycling network starts to take shape.
This autumn a number of improved routes are being completed as part of over £24 million being invested by Birmingham City Council through its Birmingham Cycle Revolution campaign that aims to get more people on their bikes for leisure and commuting.
The first wave of improvements are being made to canal towpaths and off -road routes across the city and these will link in with road improvements that are due to start next year.
As Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City at Birmingham City Council explained;
“The new green routes and refurbished towpaths will also be popular with novice cyclists and families as the pathways will provide safe, traffic free and pleasant routes around the city. The investment makes the most of Birmingham’s natural canal and parks network . By encouraging more cyclists to use these green routes and refurbished canal towpaths we hope they gain confidence to link onto the road network that we will be looking to introduce next year.”
Details of the routes and how works are progressing are on the Birmingham Cycle Revolution web site at www.birmingham.gov.uk/bcr.
The first route completed is the Cole Valley Route that has a number of sections stretching from Stechford, Bordesley Green, South Yardley , Acock’s Green , Springfield, Hall Green and Billesley.
The first section of the Cole Valley Route to be completed is from Small Heath Highway to the Grand Union Canal. This route was very wet and muddy and not suitable for cycling but now the route is wider and the hard surface has improved access to the public open space.
The Brook Lane to Cole Bank Road section is also now open along with three further routes. These include the Ackers Site, Manor Farm Road to the Ackers and the route through the Dingle. Progress on the remaining sections along this stretch will be made in the coming month with all works completed by the end of November.
The next route, that is called the River Tame Way has four sections that incorporate Perry Hall Playing Fields, Cherry Orchard Recreation Ground, Hampstead Park and Park Road in the Sandwell Valley. Work on improving these routes will be happening until the end of November, when all sections will then be open.
A new route around Chinn Brook Recreation Ground is nearly completed too.
Work is on-going on two route sections between Stechford Lane to Bordesley Green East and Formans Road to Sarehole Mill and, weather permitting ,these routes will also be finished at the end of November.
These off-road routes will support links to new canal pathways being undertaken by the Canal and River Trust to many of the towpaths that go along some of the city’s popular canal ways. For example, towpath improvement work has been on-going on the Worcester and Birmingham and Fazeley Canals.
Work is due to start on the Grand Union Canal that will provide a link to the Cole Valley Route to create a route that runs from the north east to the south east of Birmingham and largely avoids any road cycling.
For details on progress on the various canal towpaths and green route please visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/bcr.