City of Wolverhampton Council has secured £600,000 to create a safer walking and cycling route for students between the city's transport Interchange and the University of Wolverhampton's new Springfield Campus.

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The money has come through the Black Country Consortium from the Access to Growth fund.

Currently the streets around what is the former Springfield Brewery site have poor pedestrian and cyclist provision and suffer from traffic passing between Cannock Road and Wednesfield Road, often at inappropriate speeds.

Improvement works are set to start in the summer, with the aim to complete the scheme in time for the opening of the new West Midlands Construction University Technical College (WMCUC) on the Springfield Campus later this year.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "It is wonderful to see this historic site, which has been vacant for over a quarter of a century, being brought back to life by the university.

"The opening of the UTC will see around 600 students - some as young as 14 years old - making daily trips to and from it and it is essential we ensure the routes between the new Springfield Campus and the city centre are made fit for purpose.

"This is even more the case with an Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) also planned for the new campus, as well as the university's School of Architecture and Built Environment set to relocate there."

The scheme has been designed to reduce traffic speed in the area, deter through traffic, and make high quality provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

It will include:

  • creation of a dedicated shared use footway/cycleway in Culwell Street, Grimstone Street and Cambridge Street
  • motor traffic reduced to one way travel along Grimstone Street
  • closure to motor traffic off Cambridge Street between Grimstone Street and Water Street, and creation of a public space
  • reduction of the speed limit to 20 mph and installation of speed reduction measures in Grimstone Street, Cambridge Street and Water Street in keeping with the adjacent existing 20 mph zone

The scheme is Phase 1 of a wider set of initiatives that will help improve the quality and connectivity of walking and cycling routes within the city centre.

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: "These improvement works are extremely welcome and will make a positive difference to students visiting the Springfield Campus from the City Centre, train and bus stations either on foot or on a bike.

"The Springfield Campus is a major part of our growth plan, which will generate £250 million of investment over the next 5 years. It will provide a centre of excellence for the built environment which will be unrivalled in the UK and Europe and will provide education for school age children right the way through to undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals. We also see it as key in helping bring investment into the City and the wider region, creating employment opportunities, raising skills levels and aspirations, as well as acting as a catalyst for social and economic regeneration across the area."

  • released: Friday 10 June, 2016