Emergency Active Travel Corridors
Details on the bids Worcestershire submitted to the Emergency Active Travel Fund as set out in the Worcestershire Local Transport Plan.
On 9 May 2020, the Government announced £2 billion funding for walking and cycling, with the first £250 million to be made available immediately to local authorities as an emergency active travel fund to deliver measures to tackle COVID-19.
Together with partners, Worcestershire submitted two bids to the Emergency Active Travel Fund.
This has secured £784,700 for investment in active travel measures across the county, as set out in the Worcestershire Local Transport Plan.
There are sections below that provide a summary of the initiatives that have been delivered or proposed using this funding.
Emergency active travel fund – Round 1
Worcestershire County Council secured £135,500 from the first round of the Emergency Active Travel Fund. This has funded the following infrastructure and service improvements:
Cycle.Travel has been appointed to digitize and develop Worcestershire’s walking and cycling mapping, providing a service which can be accessed on any internet-ready device.
Liftshare has been appointed to deliver travel planning services to several businesses, to support increased walking and cycling for commuting and business purposes.
Park That Bike has been appointed to provide a cycle parking scheme for local businesses in Worcestershire.
Evesham Town Centre – In partnership with Wychavon District Council, a package of cycle parking improvements have been delivered across Evesham Town Centre, to improve access and security for cyclists visiting the range of services and facilities provided there.
Redditch to Bromsgrove Active Travel Corridor – The route between Bromsgrove and Redditch via Brockhill Lane and Tutnall Lane has become increasingly popular with cyclists, as it offers an attractive, fairly direct and low-traffic route between the two settlements. This route has now been fully waymarked, with signing and lining measures installed to provide a safer environment for all users.
Silverwoods Link, Kidderminster – This will involve the development of a surfaced active travel link between Silverwoods Way (the Hoobrook Link Road) in Kidderminster and the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Towpath. Worcestershire County Council is working with Wyre Forest District Council to deliver this scheme as soon as possible, pending transfer of the land required into public ownership.
Worcester – Malvern Active Travel Corridor – Surfacing improvements have been made on Old Road, Worcester, to ensure the link between the new bridge over the A4440 and the city is in good condition. This links to a further bid to the Local Pinch Point Fund to deliver a continuous, separated active travel corridor between Malvern and Worcester alongside the A449. More details on this can be viewed at the Powick to Malvern and Ketch to Kempsey corridors combined bid page.
Worcestershire Parkway – A new covered cycle stand is being installed at Worcestershire Parkway station, to provide protection for parked cycles from inclement weather.
Emergency active travel fund - Round 2
On 7 August 2020, Worcestershire County Council submitted its second bid to the Emergency Active Travel Fund. On 13 November 2020, the Government announced that Worcestershire had been allocated a further £649,200 to invest in active travel infrastructure.
The four proposed corridors are supported by partners, including local District Councils and the Canals and River Trust, are shown below:
- Pershore: Infrastructure Improvements Wyre Road Active Travel Corridor
- Redditch: Arrow Valley Active Travel Network
- Worcester: Diglis to Sixways Active Travel Corridor
- Wyre Forest: Stourport to Kidderminster Active Travel Corridor
Recent engagement on the proposals for Round 2 schemes
Worcestershire County Council sought feedback on the proposals for the four Emergency Active Travel corridors in Kidderminster, Pershore, Worcester and Redditch. The engagement period finished on Friday 16 July, 2021. View reports summarising engagement in the below section.
Summary of engagement exercises
The comments received during the engagement exercise have been evaluated and may have been used to revise the proposals prior to the delivery of the schemes. Summary reports of the exercise can be seen below:
Kidderminster Active Travel Corridor
This proposed scheme involved the comprehensive widening and resurfacing of this well-used canal towpath (Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal) that links Stourport with Kidderminster, as well as a number of links into nearby trip attractors including the Minster Road Employment Area, Silverwoods, Churchfields, Crossley Retail Park, Stourport and Kidderminster Town Centres (with onward connections to Kidderminster Rail Station). This proposal would also include a comprehensive waymarking investment and installation of permanent walking and cycling counters for ongoing monitoring.
Working with Canals and Rivers Trust (CRT), Worcestershire County Council were able to widen and resurface circa 950m of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal towpath. Previously a stone surface with large areas of rutting which, after rain events, left some sections of the canal almost impassable, WCC were able to install a sealed surface from Park Butts Ringway to Oxbow Way. This now provides a year round usable path connecting the northern areas of Kidderminster into the Town Centre. Alternatively, it also give residents coming from the Town Centre access into the wider Countryside and Springfield Park.
Wyre Road Active Travel Corridor (Pershore)
This involved the provision of a separated, high quality active travel link along Wyre Road, which links the large villages of Wyre Piddle and Pinvin to Pershore Secondary School, Pershore Station and the Keytec Business Park, with existing good quality onward connections to Pershore Town Centre and proposed onward connections to Evesham and westwards towards Worcestershire Parkway and Worcester. This scheme also included a comprehensive waymarking investment and installation of permanent walking and cycling counters for ongoing monitoring.
Works to make walking and cycling improvements on Wyre Road in Pershore are now complete. The works to make improvements to the cycling and walking provision in the area, included the construction of a cycle/foot new path from Wyre Road roundabout to Station Road on the northern side of Wyre Road, the installation of a new kerb line, improvements to drainage and additional street lighting.
The cycle/foot path will provide a link between Station Road and the new Pershore Northern Link Road, at which works continue ahead of completion this summer.
Arrow Valley Active Travel Network (Redditch)
This scheme involves a package of targeted widening and re-surfacing improvements to upgrade and enhance the capacity and utility of this valued network of routes which pass through Arrow Valley Country Park in Redditch, including a section of National Cycle Network 5. This network provides direct access between residential areas, industrial estates, the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch Town Centre and the Railway Station, so has significant potential to attract greater levels of use by new and existing users. This proposal would also include a comprehensive waymarking investment and installation of permanent walking and cycling counters for ongoing monitoring.
This project saw the widening of a well-used path along the top of Arrow Valley lake from a width of 2.5 m to 4 m. The route was undulating with differences in levels found across the same cross-section with areas of pooling evident after rain events.
The widening and resurfacing of the path meant the route became LTN1/20 compliant for shared use and offers a smooth and comfortable journey with no pooling, even surfaces and gradients lowered to become Equalities Act compliant.
Non-British Standard bollards where removed and replaced with BS EN Passive safety ones.
The ecology along the route was also improved by the spreading of wildflower seeds for pollinators.
The lighting of the route was also upgraded to be more energy efficient with the fitting of LED lighting heads.
Diglis to Sixways Active Travel Corridor (Worcester)
This scheme involved the extensive widening and resurfacing of this very popular active travel corridor and connecting links, which links the City Centre directly with the extensive business parks and commercial sites on the northern fringes of the city, Shrub Hill Rail Station, Worcester Leisure Centre and a number of residential areas. Despite increasing levels of usage, the route is too narrow and poorly surfaced in places, and so requires corridor-length upgrade (including surfacing, widening and waymarking improvements and installation of permanent walking and cycling counters for monitoring) to enable it to play a more strategic role to support increased levels of walking and cycling across the city and beyond.
This project, in conjunction with Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT), saw the widening and resurfacing of the Birmingham and Worcester canal towpath between Friesland Close and Blackpole Road (Bridge 16-19).
The works included the widening and resurfacing of the towpath to create a sealed surfaced path suitable for use all year round. The previous surface was a stone composition which had become eroded and left large areas of pooling after rain events.
This now gives better connectivity to industrial estates on the peripheries of the City and also opens up green spaces such as Perdiswell Park.