A new dedicated cycleway running from Coundon to Coventry city centre will be “one of the best in the country”, the city’s Bicycle Mayor believes.
Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for city services Cllr Pat Hetherton approved the 1.7 mile two-way route at a meeting on Monday, September 7.
The route, which runs from Norman Place Road to Hill Street, will directly serve around 4,500 homes and six schools and is hoped to boost cycling provision and play a part in improving air quality.
It comes at a time more people are expressing an interest to cycle in light of the coronavirus, according to a recent survey by the West Midlands Combined Authority, which found a 40 per cent increase in cycling to work and walking to shops in Coventry during lockdown, with 17% expecting to cycle more.
Coventry’s Bicycle Mayor Adam Tranter believes the city will boast one the best cycleways in the country when it opens in autumn 2021.
He said: “It’s fantastic to see the Coundon cycle route approved.
“The high-quality route will serve six schools, get full separation from traffic, priority over side roads and new Dutch-style entrances – all a first for the city.
“So often in the past, cycle routes have been stop-start and limited in quality and scope.
“I’ve had independent experts look at this scheme who say it is likely to be one of the best in the country.
“I know those who want to cycle but don’t feel safe to do so will be really grateful to the council officers and Cllr Hetherton for their work in creating a scheme that helps people feel safe when cycling. I hope it is the first of many.”
Some changes to the scheme were made after a consultation, including new zebra crossings by floating bus stops, ‘Dutch style’ entrances at side roads, and a new grass verge between the cycleway and road on Hollyfast Road to reduce vehicle speeds.
The city council is still in discussions with residents along Westhill Road over the loss of off-street parking.
Their concerns featured in a 156-name petition calling to stop the plans, although a 398-name petition was in favour of the scheme.
The scheme will be funded through a £24.5 million government grant to reduce nitrogen dioxide via a set of measures in Coventry, which also includes road alterations and new electric vehicles.
The council has said it will be the first cycleway of its kind in the city and will eventually lead to a network of ‘cycle superhighways’ across Coventry.
A Binley route already has £5m funding secured from the West Midlands Combined Authority, while two pop-up cycleways are planned into the city centre.
“We very much hope this will be the first of many similar routes across the city,” John Seddon, head of transportation and innovation at the council said.
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