We’ve extended the width of the footpath outside Quarry Bank Primary School, making it easier for families and larger groups of children to walk to school safely.
Working with the Canal and River Trust we have resurfaced the Dudley No 1 canal towpath between Pedmore Road to Waterfront Way, creating a firm, well drained surface for walkers and cyclists
We’ve run a range of fun community events that encourage people to enjoy walking or cycling around Brierley Hill and to try and see the area through new eyes.
These have included a foraging walk around Withymoor with the National Trust. Participants learnt to identify and sample edible fruits and plants that they would find as they walked through the area including elderberries, wild garlic and sorrel.
We have also set up a range of lunchtime walks for people working on the Waterfront to encourage them to take a break from their work, stretch their legs, get some fresh air and discover the waterways and footpaths on their doorstep.
We’ve attended community fun days with our always popular and slightly unusual specially adapted smoothie bike. There were queues as children (and some adults too!) took their turn pedalling the bike in order to work the smoothie attached at the rear. Pedal power never tasted so good! It encouraged children to enjoy cycling, think about the importance of a healthy diet and the health benefits of taking more cars of the road.
We’ve rolled out Dr Bike sessions. Bike users simply bring along their bike and it gets a free basic maintenance check, all for free.
This has helped people feel more confident in using their bikes and has got a number of old bikes that had been left lingering in sheds, spruced up and back on the road.
We’ve been able to provide residents, school and businesses with information, maps and journey planners to help them get around more without using the car.
Our free reflective stickers for cyclists and children walking to school in the winter have all gone down well, and our free pedometers have proved popular with adults wanting to monitor their daily steps.
We worked with pupils with a local primary school to set up a park and walk day to help ease congestion and reduce the amount of cars parked by the schools. Parents drove part of the way to school, parked up some distance away and walked the rest of the way on foot as part of a group with other pupils, parents and staff.
We have worked closely with 15 local primary schools, encouraging them to walk rather than drive to school once a week. This makes for a more sociable, healthy and environmentally friendly journey to school. Pupils who walk to school once a week to get a badge at the end of each week.
Initial research shows a decrease of around 8% in the number of cars travelling to school, reducing the amount of traffic on the roads.
Our bike clubs have proved really popular, with children turning out whatever the weather to take part. Four of our local schools signed up to our free after school bike clubs which teach children about cycle skills and bike maintenance. Youngsters learn how to be road savvy, build their cycling confidence and about the benefits of cycling over car use.
So far around 200 children have taken part.
We’ve run a series of courses, sharing tips on how to drive more economically, with the added benefit of reducing carbon emissions and helping the environment.
We have run one-to-one sessions for people wanting to plan their journey without using the car, by looking at their options and whether they choose to combine walking, cycling and public transport as part of their mode of transport.