Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Cycle Coventry - £3.5 million award

Great news!

Coventry Council has just been awarded £3.5 million from the Department of Transport to encourage more cycling in south-west Coventry. There's also a £2.2m local contribution to make a total of £5.7m to be spent over three years.

Commuters, students and local residents are the targets. There's plenty of scope for improvement as the 2001 census showed that half the people working in the area lived within 3 miles of their place of work but 57% of those commuted by car.

The planned means to achieve more cycling are:
  • Improved cycle routes (including better signage)
  • Better parking
  • Speed limit review
  • Promotional campaigns aimed at both workplaces and households.
The improved routes (in blue):

Outline infrastructure improvements

  • Tile Hill Lane: Improved access to Coventry Business Park
  • Hearsall Common: Extension of the off-road cycle path, including a new toucan crossing. Contraflow cycle link along Canley Road
  • Upper Spon Street: Refurbishment of the link to Sovereign Road, including the replacement of the pedestrian crossing on the Butts with a toucan
  • Banner Lane: Improved lighting and completion of the off-carriageway cycle path
  • Railway line between Tile Hill and Canley Stations: Refurbishment of subways and conversion to shared use
  • Canley station: Shared-use access
  • Coventry Station: Shared-use path on Eaton Road
  • Spencer Park: Upgrading of path
  • Charter Avenue and Mitchell Avenue: Shared use path along single-carriageway sections
  • Charter Avenue: Cycle lanes along dual carriageway section
  • Cannon Park Shopping Centre: cycle paths
  • A45 Burnsall Road subway: Refurbishment and conversion to shared use
  • Kenilworth Road: Toucan crossings across Gibbet Hill Road and A45
  • Gibbet Hill Road: Cycle link between Kenilworth Road and University's Gibbet Hill Campus
  • Improved signage
  • More cycle parking at retail centres, workplaces and railway stations
  • Review of speed limits and traffic signal response times


  • Two or three Workplace Engagement Officers to liaise with workplaces to nominate Cycle Champions and create site specific packages of measures such as cycle parking, pool bikes, cycle training, Dr. Bike sessions, events and information
  • A Residential Engagement Officer to promote cycling to residents using paper maps, the web, printed media, third parties and face-to-face communication at railway stations, local centres and community events
For more details, see pages 13-17 of the bid made to the Department of Transport.


  1. It is great that we are going to get more cycle tracks but what about the rest of Coventry.
    With the way the car parking is along the Foleshill road it is hard to walk on the pavements. To cycle on the road is dangerous.

  2. Back in June 2011 the seven West Midlands Metropolitan Local Authorities put in a bid to the Department of Transport which included improving the cycle routes in the Northern part of Coventry.

    One route went North between the Coventry-Nuneation railway and the Foleshill Road, a second went North East through Hilfields and Stoke Heath to Wood End and a third joined Wood End to Prologis Park.

    But the Department of Transport is still considering that.

  3. How ironic that they announce this just as they have removed the cycle lane from most of Holyhead Road! That was a good cycle lane, but now seems to have given way to on road parking, so now cyclists are squeezed between parked cars and traffic, with not a lot of room to spare.
    Also, has anyone else noticed how cars and taxis seem not to notice the big cycle spaces now appearing by traffic light junctions? Funny, that...

  4. It does seem very curious how these improvements are concentrated in one sector of the city. I'd like to see an overarching strategy and more integrated policy on street designs. Some of the improvements to the city centre - such as New Union Street bus stops, not to mention the hoary chestnut of Hales St - are likely to be a nightmare for cyclists. So they give with one hand and take away with the other...

  5. I suspect that the improvements are concentrated in one sector to fit in with the way the funding works. Also £5M will make a difference to a quarter of Coventry, but £20M for the whole of Coventry is not "on the table" and £5M for the whole of Coventry would be spreading things too thinly. Inadequate money either leads to joke facilities (see or very patchy routes.

    I think there's a problem of cycling being ignored when major changes are made to the roads (like in the city centre). Cycling is seen as something to be added-on later. While some things, like training, promotion & parking can be sucessfully added at a later date, road/path space allocation needs to be sorted out much earlier.

  6. Simon, I cycled along New Union Street today, what's the problem with the bus stops?