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4th Dec, 2021

New Redditch bike route plan in wake of stinging attack on county

WORCESTERSHIRE County Council has submitted its bid for the second allocation of £1.082m from the Emergency Active Travel Fund.

The move comes after a stinging rebuke from Redditch Borough Council’s deputy leader Councillor Mike Rouse.

Coun Rouse hit out at the the county council over its ‘intransigence’ in support the government’s Active Travel agenda to promote other forms of getting about other than by car.

He added it was time for the county got behind everyone who was positive about the initiative.

Worcestershire’s previous initial bid for cash under the scheme was lambasted as ‘unambitious’.

County Hall says its proposals are all supported by partners, including local district councils and the Canal and River Trust and that the partners will work together to deliver the proposals across the county, once the funding is allocated.

Councillor Alan Amos, cabinet member with responsibility for highways said: “We already have an excellent programme of Active Travel works underway and I am delighted that the city and district councils fully support our bid; I am grateful for their support.

“Many of our schemes involve partnership working and we will be dependent on this joint working approach so that we can make things happen for the residents of Worcestershire by expanding our Active Travel facilities with permanent rather than temporary provision.”

The proposals will hopefully add to the 34 Active Travel schemes already outlined in the Councils Transport Strategy, LTP4.

If successful, the Active Travel Fund will mean that we can deliver the following schemes:

· Redditch – Widen and upgrade the National Cycle Network 5 (NCN5) route through Redditch from Greenlands to Abbeydale (Arrow Valley) plus upgrade of the Millers Trail to dual use, providing a direct link to the Abbey Stadium.

Linking to the Abbey Stadium will enable further connections to be made over Weights Lane to connect into the Bromsgrove to Redditch cycle route, which provides a spinal route for the urban area. This will also link to a potential e-scooter bid from Redditch Council.

· Wyre Forest – Widen and improve the canal towpath to at least two metres where possible from Stourport to Churchfields (Kidderminster) in partnership with the Canal and River Trust, including the Silverwoods link (Wyre Forest Leisure Centre) and other connections where we can.

· Worcester – Widen the towpath from Diglis to Sixways to at least two metres wide throughout, to connect with the Highways England improvements from Sixways to Tibberton.

· Pershore Active Travel Link – The additional funding, together with funding directly from Wychavon, will enable us to further enhance the Pershore Infrastructure Improvements and the Northern Relief Road (Pinvin) to deliver essential active travel links.

· Malvern – a Local Pinchpoint funding application has been submitted to the Department for Transport. This similarly focuses on Active Travel and comprises two schemes: Worcester to Kempsey and Worcester to Malvern, equating to £3.9m. The total investment is £5.3m.

· Bromsgrove – The town has benefitted from £3.4m investment to deliver an Active Travel network in and around the town and delivery commenced in 2019.

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