Shropshire Star

Shropshire and Telford councils handed £2.5 million to get people cycling and walking

The Department for Transport has awarded the two major councils in Shropshire £2.5 million to be spent on active travel schemes.

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Telford & Wrekin councillors Carolyn Healy and Hilda Rhodes at Oakengate’s cycle station

Shropshire Council has been awarded £600,000, while Telford & Wrekin Council will receive nearly £1.9 million as part of more than £20 million earmarked for the West Midlands for walking and cycling routes across the region.

More than 20 schemes across the West Midlands are to benefit from the funding after successful bids, which the DfT has said will create new routes that will mean greater safety for women and for children walking to school and more inclusive street designs.

Shropshire Council has been awarded £612,800, with £382,800 going towards the Meole active travel schools project in Shrewsbury, which includes the Bank Farm Road Active Travel Corridor improvements.

The Meole project will include potential road safety improvements at the Longden Road/Roman Road roundabout, a formal crossing at the Sweet Lake Meadow estate and a 20mph zone in the area of Meole Brace School.

For Bank Farm Road, a segregated cycleway and footway path is planned, along with vehicle-activated signs (VAS) on Bank Farm Road and a controlled crossing near the Longden Road junction.

A further £230,000 is being spent on the council’s School Streets scheme. The 18-month trial will see ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras used to enforce restrictions outside six schools taking part in the trial.

Richard Marshall, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “The award of this funding is great news, and is recognition of our commitment to improving road safety and active travel opportunities.

“The safety of children travelling to and from school is vitally important and we’re grateful to the local community for highlighting their road safety concerns in the area, particularly in relation to walking and cycling in the vicinity of the nearby schools.

“Officers have been working closely with local residents and groups over the past few months as our plans have been developed and progressed, and this funding will help to make these plans a reality.”

In Telford and Wrekin, the council is spending its £1,895,772 awarded from Active Travel England on improving dedicated routes between Telford town centre and Oakengates.

The money will see the creation of new off-road cycle and walking routes, improved highways crossing points, as well as enhanced wayfinding and maintenance of the existing walking and cycling route from central Oakengates to Telford town centre to improve user experience and safety.

The council says work will now get underway to secure contractors, with the completed scheme due to be delivered by March 2025.

Councillor Lee Carter, the cabinet member for place (the economy and neighbourhood services), said: “Nationally, £200 million was awarded by Active Travel England to 67 authorities, with Telford & Wrekin and Warwickshire being the only councils in the West Midlands awarded more than £1m.

“This is phenomenal and demonstrates our commitment to pursuing the climate action agenda while also connecting communities and boosting the local economy.”