Plans for much needed improvements to Bromsgrove's walking and cycling network have today been unveiled by Worcestershire County Council.
The £3.4million improvements, funded through a Department for Transport (DfT) initiative, form part of the wider transport and highways plan for the area and will see an additional six recognised walking and cycling pathways being introduced over the next two years.
The work will also include improving other recognised cycleways across Bromsgrove.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure, said: "We're proud to announce these plans that will provide new and improved links between the railway station, town centre, schools, as well as employment and residential areas.
"Bromsgrove is a focus for us, as making the transport network more efficient, particularly at peak travel times, will help us to reduce congestion.
"We know that issues in some areas are partly due to a lack of suitable alternative travel choices. As Bromsgrove has a very limited infrastructure to support walking and cycling journeys, this forces some local people to drive short distances, adding to congested routes.
"The end result of these improvements is to offer attractive, alternative options to car use, especially for these shorter trips. The improvements will also complement future planned investment in the A38 and town centre highway networks."
The £3.4m funding was achieved through a successful bid submitted to the DfT as part of the National Productivity Investment Fund* and was announced last autumn.
The Council also received £3.2m to be used for network improvements across the area between St Johns, Croft Road and Sidbury in Worcester. Since the funding announcements, a large scale review of the current routes has taken place, with the key recommendations for improvements being included in this plan for Bromsgrove. Plans for the Worcester routes will be confirmed later on this year.
The proposed plans include an additional six walking and cycling routes which will create a more robust network throughout Bromsgrove. Proposed improvements along the routes will include existing controlled crossings on Kidderminster Road and Market Street being made into toucan** crossings and improving the toucan crossing on Birmingham Road by making the path wider.
Paths in some areas will be widened to accommodate use by pedestrians and cyclists. However, the majority of the cycle routes will remain on quieter, low traffic roads, with only a small number of shared use paths being introduced. Path and road resurfacing to improve journey comfort, increased lighting, clear signage, the dropping of kerbs and the introduction of tactile paving at crossing points to improve accessibility, are all part of the improvement plan which is due to completed within the next two years.
These improvements sit as part of the wider plans for Bromsgrove which include proposals to support the A38 between the M5 and M42 to be more efficient and also improving transport movement through the town centre.