Safe infrastructure needed to boost cycling and walking

Andy Street and Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) are urging the government to boost efforts to increase cycling and walking journeys by investing in safe infrastructure.

The Mayor of the West Midlands has written to Jesse Norman, Under Secretary of State for Transport, seeking the Department of Transport’s support in increasing investment on cycling to £10 per head by 2023 in the West Midlands, focused on new and upgraded cycling infrastructure.

The letter also includes a call for the West Midlands Combined Authority to receive devolved powers over traffic enforcement, allowing them to more easily prosecute people who park recklessly and endanger cyclists and pedestrians.

Street said: “We have made some significant progress in the West Midlands over the last 12 months in terms of improvements in the cycling infrastructure and promoting walking and cycling. The most obvious examples are the progress being made by Birmingham City Council on the superhighway routes on Bristol Road and Walsall Road, as well as the bikeshare scheme which will give people across the West Midlands the chance to hire bikes.

“But we need to be looking to the next stage, to making sure these superhighways become part of a network, not pieces of standalone infrastructure. And we need to make sure that the people who hire the bikes are able to use safe infrastructure. In my letter to Jesse Norman, I’ve asked him to work with the WMCA and TfWM on a host of measures which I believe will make it safer for people to walk and cycle. We need the government’s help to enable us to take this to the next level, making cycling and walking a safer and easier option than it is now, with beneficial impacts on traffic congestion and air pollution.”

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