Bike Plans Take Shape

Since the Coronavirus hit Coventry, there has been a massive uptake in the use of bicycles in the city and the Council and its partners have responded with a wide range of plans to expand the cycle network. We have trawled through all the relevant papers and reports and put together what we hope will be a comprehensive list of projects.

The picture is as follows:

Coundon Cycleway
The most advanced of the proposed Coventry schemes is the Coundon Cycleway. This is a 2.75km two-way, fully segregated cycleway along the Coundon Road/Barker’s Butts Lane corridor linking the city centre with Coundon Green. This is being delivered as part of a package of measures to improve the air quality in Coventry. This will help to remove traffic from the section of Holyhead Road where Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels are at their greatest. This is being funded from a government grant specifically to deal with NO2.

The aim is to provide an easy and comfortable cycling experience that new and existing cyclists feel confident using. The route is direct and gives cyclists protection from traffic and prioritised travel through junctions. This route has been the subject of public consultation and the go ahead was given by the Cabinet Member for City Services on 7th September. It is anticipated that work will start on site in the autumn.

Naul’s Mill Park
As part of the development of Abbots Lane Gasworks site, a new linier park is planned to run from Belgrade Plaza, under the Ring Road to Naul’s Mill Park and then on to Bridgeman Road. Although not a segregated cycle route, this will provide a shared leisure route from the city centre to Coundon.

Charterhouse Community Corridor
The West Midlands Combined Authority’s Better Streets Community Fund is funding the first stage of the Charterhouse Community Corridor. Working with Historic Coventry Trust the funding will be used to create a safe, accessible, off-road cycle link between the local residential areas and the historic Charterhouse building in Coventry, including a section along the former Coventry Loop Railway line. The end result will be a completely traffic free walking and cycling route which can be used by everyone in the local community. A planning application for part of the route is currently being considered.

Coventry Canal Towpath
Work has started on a project to improve the towpath of the Coventry Canal from Leicester Causeway to Hawkesbury Junction. The work will enable walkers and cyclists to use the towpath throughout the year as an alternative route avoiding traffic. Although this is not a segregated cycleway, it is a very attractive alternative to using busy neighbouring roads. The work is being undertaken by a partnership between the City Council and the Canal and River Trust.

Binley Cycleway
£5m funding has been secured by the City Council to help deliver a new cycle route connecting the city centre with a busy business park in Coventry. The high quality route will include segregation from traffic and will enable sustainable access from Coventry University through to Binley Business Park.

The Binley Road scheme has been allocated £5M by West Midlands Combined Authority towards implementation. This is the first phase of a longer route from Coventry city centre to University Hospital.

The plans for the route will be developed during 2020, including a public consultation to help with the design process. The consultation on the main Binley Road section is due to commence this month (September).

Warwick University route
Work has recently been completed to improve the cycle route from the University to the city centre via the Canley Ford bridleway. A route along Charter Avenue is to follow (see below).

Enhanced” cycle route through Canley Ford

Gateway South Community Park Route
This route will create an off road footway, cycleway and bridleway link between Bubbenhall Road in the west and the A45 (London Road) in the east. This will then link through onto Rowley Road, allowing people to travel around the Coventry Airport site in a circular route. This is a leisure route of about 6 km – a combined cycling and walking route around the new community park proposed as part of the huge Gateway South development.

Whitley South Scheme
The new bridge across the A45 will provide a cycle connection back towards the city centre via Scimitar Way and Whitley Common. Further routes are to be developed in the vicinity.

Foleshill Road and Charter Avenue Routes
A decision is anticipated shortly on Tranche 2 EATF (Emergency Active Travel Fund) regional bid, which includes segregated cycle routes along Foleshill Road, Charter Avenue and the first part of the regional LCWIP route from the hospital to the city centre.

Pop-Up Schemes
Link to the Canal Basin
A pop-up cycle route linking the city centre with the Canal Basin across the ring road via Upper Well Street is due to start on site shortly.

Link to Coventry College
A further pop-up route from Coventry College to the city centre is to follow.

Starley Network

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has unveiled the Starley Network, a new 500-mile cycling vision for the West Midlands.

The region’s cycling network has been reimagined and re-branded to reflect the West Midlands’ ambitions following a surge in people taking to their bikes since the coronavirus pandemic. All 493 miles of the routes on the new network will be dedicated for active travel, with the ambition that the routes will either be traffic free away from the highway, or within roads but physically separated from traffic.

The network has been named in honour of the Starley family of Coventry, industrialists who pioneered bicycle manufacturing. The Starley Network pulls together existing routes and towpaths, proposed new cycling infrastructure, and new pop-up lanes funded through the Emergency Active Travel Fund.

TfWM will invest more than £260m in the Starley Network over the coming years, with local authorities adding to that figure as they invest in their local network. The majority of schemes will primarily be delivered by local authorities.


2 thoughts on “Bike Plans Take Shape

  1. These are plans, will they be delivered? In October 2017, a West Midlands bike hire scheme was announced with “1st rollout could be as early as April or May 2018”. Still no sign.

    More importantly, what about the quality of the schemes? A cycleway is currently being built on the north side of Rowley Road. That’s just inside Coventry’s border.

    From start to the finish it’s about a mile with 14 places where cyclists are expected to give way to turning traffic. At certain times of day the entrances to some of the sites are often blocked by vehicles waiting to enter (particularly Mannheim Auctions and the vehicle distribution centre).

    Cyclists are expected to stop at every side road junction to check right, left and over their shoulders for approaching traffic.

    Cyclists have significant kinetic energy, which they lose on stopping. To get going again they must replace what has been lost by their own muscular effort. Some cyclists develop a habit of not stopping, as usually a car will not be approaching. A crash, sooner or later, will result.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s