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, which has secured £784,700 for investment in active travel measures across the county, as set out in the Worcestershire Local Transport Plan.
The links below provide a summary of the initiatives that have been delivered or proposed using this funding:
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 the engagement exercise.
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 in to the wider Countryside and Springfield Park.
Pershore Infrastructure Improvements: Wyre Road Active Travel Corridor
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 streetlighting.
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.
Redditch: Arrow Valley Active Travel Network
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 2.5m to 4m. 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
Worcester: Diglis to Sixways Active Travel Corridor
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.
Visual monitoring has taken place pre and post project (Redditch). For the Worcester and Kidderminster projects, Worcestershire County Council is working with Canal and Rivers Trust to set up permeant monitoring stations to collect 5 years of usage data.