Proposals for the latest cycling and walking schemes in Bearwood, Blackheath town centre, and Wednesbury town centre in Sandwell are now live for public feedback.
The schemes, developed by Sandwell Council in partnership with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), aim to improve safety for people cycling and walking around these areas and to provide more pleasant places to spend time shopping and socialising.
Proposals include upgrading existing crossings and providing new pedestrian crossings, widening narrow sections of pavement and new cycle facilities such as cycle parking and cycle routes which will be separated from both the road and the pavement to keep everyone safe.
There are also plans to declutter the footways to provide more space for walking and in some locations to slow traffic movements to provided added safety for those cycling or crossing roads within these areas. These proposals are planned to be delivered by September 2022
The investment in active travel – the collective term for cycling and walking – supports Sandwell’s aims of improving the health and wellbeing of residents. It also encourages the use of cycling and walking for short journeys to ease congestion and help reduce carbon emissions in Sandwell and the wider region, as set out in the council’s climate change and air quality strategy: www.sandwell.gov.uk/climatechange
The proposed improvements have been made possible by working in partnership with TfWM through the Active Travel Fund and will eventually become part of the wider network of walking and cycling routes across the West Midlands.
The Active Travel Fund was provided by the Department for Transport as part of the government’s announcement in November 2020 to invest in high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure across England to make local journeys by walking and bicycle safer for all.
Consultation on the proposed improvements started on 17 March and will run until 25 March 2022. Residents and businesses within the borough will receive details by post. They can also provide feedback online via Commonplace (sandwellwalking-and-cycling.commonplace.is/), the online platform where thoughts and ideas on the places where people live, work, and socialise, can be shared with decision makers.
Those residents who are unable to view the designs online, are advised to contact Transport_planning@sandwell.gov.uk for further information.
Councillor Ahmad Bostan, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The Active Travel proposals are an important part of Sandwell Council’s Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, which is delivering a programme of infrastructure improvements across the borough.
“The proposals will benefit our communities by boosting safety for cyclists, pedestrians and visitors, enabling people to get around in healthy and sustainable ways, supporting our health and wellbeing activities.”