£2m fund to improve cycle and walking paths sets its sights on Coventry

Better paths, improved street lighting, secure bike storage and on-street car parking restrictions are among a range of ideas that could be coming to the streets of Coventry.

A £2 million fund set up to help communities improve their streets for cycling and walking has been inundated with more than 140 bids from across the West Midlands.

Better paths, improved street lighting, secure bike storage and on-street car parking restrictions are among a range of ideas put forward by individuals and organisations hoping for support from the Better Streets Community Fund.

The fund, launched by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street in May, is designed to support small-scale projects that make it easier or safer to cycle and walk.

Ahead of national Cycle to Work Day, Transport for West Midlands has revealed that is has received 143 bids for funding.

These came from across the region, with thirteen coming from Coventry.

They include bids for better paths around parks, planters outside schools to stop cars parking on the pavements and requests to block rat runs to make streets safer for pedestrians. 

Now Transport for West Midlands staff, working in partnership with local councils, will go through the bids carefully over the next few weeks and pick the best ones for funding.

Mayor Andy Street said: “As well as being great exercise and a fun way to explore the region, cycling and walking are crucial to reducing congestion and tackling climate change.

“However people often say there is something stopping them, such as cars blocking the pavement or a lack of a safe crossing, which is why we set up the Better Streets Community Fund.

“With that in mind, I am delighted so many people and groups have come forward and applied for the fund, telling us what they think will make their neighbourhoods safer and ultimately encourage more people to get out on two wheels or their two feet.”

The Better Streets Community Fund was set up from the larger £23 million Transforming Cities Fund pot allocated to cycling and walking by the West Midlands Combined Authority. 

Winning bids will be chosen from across the West Midlands and announced within the next three months.

All successful projects must be completed within twenty-four months of being awarded funding, with some smaller projects being earmarked for completion within only six months.