Residents across Wolverhampton will benefit from a further green and healthy way to travel thanks to the launch of a second new cycle route in the city. The new cycle path forms the first section of a high-quality dedicated cycling route which will run along the A4124 Wednesfield Road.
It was officially launched by Commonwealth Games gold medallist and city Cycling Ambassador Hugh Porter MBE, Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change, Adam Tranter, West Midlands Cycling and Walking Commissioner and Councillor Lynne Moran, chair of Wolverhampton Cycle Forum.
The new section begins at Lock Street, continues past the nearby University of Wolverhampton Springfield Campus, and ends at Lincoln Street where it joins an existing cycle path.
In accordance with new Government standards for cycle routes, the path is separate from both motor traffic and pedestrians for most of its length. Pedestrian signalised crossings along the route have been modified to allow for cyclists as well as pedestrians.
Further development will see the path continue out to Wednesfield Way where it will join an existing cycle route leading to New Cross Hospital, Bentley Bridge and towards Wednesfield Village, offering additional opportunities for residents to access key work and leisure sites by bike. When this work is completed, there will be a safe cycling route of more than 3.5km (2.25 miles) along one of Wolverhampton’s busiest roads.
The total cost of the works is £2.6 million which has been secured by City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Combined Authority, mainly from the Government’s Active Travel Fund (ATF). The Wednesfield Road path is the second new cycle route created in the city after the council accessed an initial £1 million from the ATF following a bid by West Midlands Combined Authority on behalf of all councils in the area.
The first route, for both walking and cycling, opened at the beginning of July 22 and runs within the central reserve of the A4150, starting at the new Toucan Crossing between Stafford Street and Waterloo Road. The path continues past Waterloo Road and plans are currently in place to develop a further shared route to continue along the central reservation to the Chapel Ash underpass to link with a signed cycle route to West Park and the Smestow Valley.
Councillor Steve Evans said: “This new cycle route, the second in the city, provides a green, clean and safe new option for anyone who doesn’t, or chooses not to drive. It will give the opportunity for people to build exercise into their daily life, perhaps consider cycling to work a few days a week, or just using bikes for leisure, whether individually or with your family.
“Of course, we held this summer’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games cycling time trial in Wolverhampton and this may have inspired people to dust off their bikes. And cycling isn’t only about sport, this new route will give residents a great transport option too.
“As a city we are committed to improving our infrastructure for more sustainable transport and reducing carbon emissions. These cycle schemes will help us to achieve that aim.”
Adam Tranter, West Midlands Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: “It is brilliant to see this new cycleway completed and ready to welcome people cycling. We know to get more people cycling we need safe, attractive options separated from motor traffic.”
“I’ve been heartened by Wolverhampton’s commitment to provide new and sustainable transport options and believe this will be one of many more in the future. Cycling is a crucial part of our plans to tackle the climate emergency and improve the region’s health and air quality by reducing private car use and infrastructure like this gives people genuine alternatives.
“That is why the West Midlands Combined Authority is supporting this scheme and is set to invest even more in cycling and walking infrastructure and look to further expand our growing Starley Network of safe cycle routes, over the next five years.”