Image: Flickr / Chris Hill

Coventry City Council to splash £19m on new cycle lanes and road repairs

A £19.2 million programme to improve Coventry’s roads and build new cycle lanes is set to begin later this year, Coventry City Council has confirmed.

The plans include a £2.3 million cycle lane in Coventry city centre, a £2.2 million route linking Coundon to Keresley and a £500k link to the already-built Binley cycleway.

The routes will be funded by Transport for West Midlands, through the government’s active travel fund. There are further plans for more cycle lanes, with funding reserved for schemes including a segregated cycle network for the city.

The proposals have attracted criticism from some areas, with opponents declaring the cycleways a waste of money. Others support the development, and have called for its expansion across Coventry.

At a City Council meeting, Green Councillor Stephen Gray raised concerns that the cycleway at Coundon was “just stops” and said: “If you’re going to the city centre, you come to the end of the cycleway, you’re facing oncoming traffic”.

Despite what some people say, that it’s a waste of money, that’s not what I’m hearing from people. I’m hearing how happy they are that this programme’s going ahead

Cllr Christine Thomas, Disability Equality Action Panel Chair

Labour Councillor Christine Thomas, Chair of the City Council’s Disability Equality Action Panel, defended the proposals. She said: “Despite what some people say, that it’s a waste of money, that’s not what I’m hearing from people. I’m hearing how happy they are that this programme’s going ahead.”

She added that people with disabilities are “so grateful for the cycle ways”, and “now feel safer using the pavements”.

The cycleway in Binley has divided opinion since it opened last year. Businesses have argued that the cycle lane has narrowed the road, hurting passing trade.

Satish Francis, 78, a local business owner, told the Coventry Telegraph: “People used to pull up at the side of the road, and there was enough space for the other cars to go past. Now the only passing trade I get is when people can get on the service road.

“We have lost a lot of money, whilst the making of the cycle lane was going on, now we are still losing trade and it’s frustrating.”

Other residents, however, think the cycle lane has had a positive impact on the city.

Ola Quarm, who lives in Coventry, regularly uses the Binley cycleway. She told the Coventry Telegraph: “A few times already, I have been pushed to the side of the road, but I strongly believe that more cycle lanes would encourage more people such as children, young and old to cycle to school, work or shop.”

£9.4 million, half of the council’s total spending this year, will go towards repairing Coventry’s roads and pavements. The other half will go towards other improvements to the network, including the cycle lanes, speed cameras, and red lights at school sites, totalling £9.7 million.


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