Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, has appointed a Cycling and Walking Commissioner to accelerate plans to get more people moving around the region by foot or bike.
Adam Tranter, who has previously volunteered as Bicycle Mayor for Coventry, has taken up the new role after a rigorous recruitment process.
The Commissioner will support the planning and delivery of the region’s Starley Network of safe cycling and walking routes.
As Commissioner, he will work with the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), local council partners and the Department for Transport to steer the region’s cycling and walking policies plans.
Since 2018, the West Midlands has secured £40m of government funding for active travel routes and projects, including the West Midlands Cycle Hire, and the Commissioner will be looking to build on that success.
The West Midlands needs more people cycling and walking in order to reach the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) aim of improving health and reducing carbon emissions as set out in the region’s #WMCA2041 plan to tackle climate change.
Statistics show that 25% of resident car journeys in Birmingham are under one mile, with three-quarters of people saying that they would cycle more if there were more safe segregated cycle routes.
Mr Tranter’s new role includes:
- Working with stakeholders to plan and develop the business cases for at least 10 major safe cycle routes on the Starley Network.
- Working with councils to agree a coordinated approach to cycling and walking infrastructure.
- Building strong working relationships with the Department for Transport and securing fresh investment from the government’s Gear Change fund.
Commenting, Mr Tranter said:
“I want our region to achieve its active travel potential. We saw during lockdown that vast numbers of people will cycle given the right environment to do it in.
“Our goal has to be giving these people a genuine alternative to using a car for short journeys. We can only do this by building high-quality, direct and connected infrastructure.
“Congestion really drags down our region’s health and prosperity. Cities that have embraced active travel have been rewarded with better air quality, less carbon emissions and happier citizens. I want the West Midlands to have these rewards too.
“I am also looking forward to meeting and working with communities across the region to give people genuine choice in the way they get around as we strive to make the West Midlands a national leader for cycling and walking.”
Mr Street added:
“Adam has an excellent track record of campaigning and lobbying for cycling and walking in Coventry, and I now want to use that expertise to improve our offer across the whole region.
“We have put more funding than ever before into active travel, but we need to go further to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys in the West Midlands.
"Not only is it good for the environment by cutting down on car use and therefore air pollution, but it is also a brilliant and fun way of improving people’s physical and mental health.
“The benefits of cycling and walking are clear and I know Adam is the right person to help deliver on my promise to put active travel at the heart of our region’s transport plans.”
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