The Birmingham Cycle Revolution followed hard on the heels of the Transport, Connectivity & Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Committee report, which was highly critical of cycling provision in Birmingham:
Push Bikes made two submissions to the Scrutiny Committee:
- BCR1 was made possible by a £17m Cycle City Ambition Grant (CCAG), backed up with £7m of council expenditure. Broadly the money was divided between improving canal tow paths, green routes, on-highway routes, and the Big Birmingham Bikes scheme. The work on the tow paths and green routes was largely completed by the end of 2014, though some additional work will be done in 2015. The on-highway routes and Big Birmingham Bikes roll-out are being implemented in 2015.
- BCR2 is based on a grant of £8m from the Local Growth Fund. As of the first quarter of 2015 provisional approval has been granted, and the business case is being drawn up.
- BCR3 is based on a second CCAG grant of £22m.
BCR2 and BCR3 will run concurrently and have a time-scale of three to four years.
In British terms these are big spends on cycling, but it is worth putting them in context. Birmingham is spending about €14 per head per annum. This is slightly more than the Germans spend, but they already have fairly extensive cycling infrastructure. The Dutch spend €25 per head per annum to maintain and improve excellent, widespread cycling infrastructure. To catch up with the Dutch, we would need to be spending at least twice what we are spending. That's why Trondheim is spending €75 per head per annum.