Take a walk – or bike ride – on the wild side

Wildlife Ways – the council’s three year programme to make Solihull greener – is now well underway.

Earlier this month, contractors idverde started planting trees in the north of the borough, and now Balfour Beatty has started work on paths and cycle routes.

The £16.8 million programme – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – will improve the borough for the benefit of people and wildlife alike.  The programme will include tree, bulb and wildflower planting.  It will also make it easier for people wanting to walk and cycle across the borough by widening and connecting paths and cycle routes with green spaces.

Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, Cllr Ted Richards OBE, said: “We’re working hard to make Solihull a greener place for everyone. Wildlife Ways will make significant improvements to the existing 69km of cycle routes as well as 23km of new shared paths for cyclists and walkers.  This will support people who want to travel safely by foot and by bike, ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution for the benefit of everyone.  Initially residents will notice a lot of verge preparation work taking place but it won’t be long before they see some real changes.”

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Managed Growth, Cllr Ian Courts, added: “Wildlife Ways will deliver huge environmental benefits for the borough. The new and improved routes will make for a less car dependent borough with cycling and walking set to become a real option for many more people.  Wildflower planting alongside these routes and paths will give a welcome boost to our wildlife, and of course add to the pleasure of walking and cycling in Solihull.”

Contract Director at Balfour Beatty Living Spaces, Jo Dryden, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Wildlife Ways contract by Solihull Council; it builds on our trusted expertise in highways services. We look forward to working closely with the Council and the local community to deliver tangible improvements to the cycle routes across the Borough.”

Picture caption L-R: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Managed Growth, Cllr Ian Courts, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, Cllr Ted Richards OBE, Balfour Beatty Living Spaces Managing Agent Mark Kelly and Balfour Beatty Living Spaces Contract Director Jo Dryden.