John Bennet from Push Bikes tells CW how Birmingham has increased its cycling investment from £250,000 to £12 million
Cycling in Birmingham is buzzing, with many more commuters and local cyclists than last year; the momentum is very noticeable, reflecting trends elsewhere in the UK.
Our £17 million government Cycle City Ambition Grant (CCAG) was backed by a further £7 million from the City Council, so for the next two years the annual investment in Birmingham will go up from £250,000 to a staggering £12 million!
City politicians are recognising how cycling can bring benefits to the prosperity and local economy by reducing congestion and improving health. We now have a cabinet member who is our Cycling Champion, while the council recently published its long-term Mobility Plan, which concentrates on making local journeys less dependent on private cars and encourages sustainable forms of transport.
Cycling clubs and informal groups are growing in numbers, from Push Bikes’ weekly rides (www.pushbikes.org.uk) to women-only cycling groups and several well-established and prospering clubs, while the council sponsors leisure rides, adult and school cycle training.
Of course, as committed cyclists we all want more, we want it quicker, and we want it better. Debates rage on the Birmingham Cyclist site (www.birmingham cyclist.com) and at monthly pub socials as well as the council’s quarterly Cyclists’ Forum.
Birmingham has been a car-dominated city; there’s hope that it’s at the beginning of a new cycling revolution.
This article was first published in the December 12 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!