Two people walking

Last month we asked you to join with us to ask the new West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, what he has been doing to ‘supercharge walking’ since he got elected. Rachel Maycock, our Head of Public Affairs, has an updates.

Rachel Maycock

Last month, following his 100th day in the job, we asked Mayor Andy Street to make the Walk to School safer, with an action plan improve the walking environment for our younger generation.

Hundreds of local supporters signed the petition and we sent this along to the Mayors office.

We also raised our issues in a meeting with his team. We now have his response.

Andy Street says, while there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution to get the West Midlands moving more, he hopes his work with the West Midlands Combined Authority will contribute towards long-term behaviour change.

In his response to our petition Andy Street highlighted that he’s taken action on walking in the following ways

Determining draft strategic priorities for cycling and walking infrastructure which we will be consulting with stakeholder groups later in the year.

Working with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and the Canals and Rovers Trust on the delivery of Managing Short Trips 2 infrastructure programme, which extends the network of quality accessible cycling and walking routes.

Working with Public Health England, to trial a campaign to encourage people to walk to the next bus stop as part of its “One You” campaign.

Committed to working with you to ensure Living Streets meets it target of getting 23 primary schools signed up to walking to school. Positioning your officer within the WMCA provides a unique opportunity to connect plans and priorities.

Setting out our “West Midlands on the Move” physical activity strategic Framework to encourage a system change approach to getting more people active, including influencing both transport, land and housing principles. I will be launching the Strategic Framework in November 2017 and announcing our immediate plans and priorities.

Piloting Dudley Interconnect developing signage and wayfinding opportunities with City ID in the town centre and Brierley Hill to encourage walking.

Working with Birmingham CC, Solihull MBC and Coventry CC on their Sport England submission to their “Place based pilots” which are focussed on addressing levels of inactivity and inequalities.

Planning our second “Walking out of Darkness” as part of the implementation of the WMCA’s Thrive West Midlands Action Plan helping raise awareness of mental health and the increasingly important role activity can play in encouraging wellbeing.

Committed to develop Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans as outlines in government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.

Overall there is certainly more to do in his three-year term, but I think you might agree he is off to a solid start with a number of pilots, projects and strategic plans.

His ambitions for walking are certainly there and I will share his plans with you when they are published in November.

We will be working closely with Andy and his team during his term. We are particularly keen for the region to be one of the first to hit the national target of 55% of school children walking to school.


Get involved

We will be calling on supporters like you in the region to support us at a local level.

Would you like to get involved with grassroots activity to make the West Midlands a world-class place for walking?

Email us

Our campaign

We need cities designed around people not vehicles. And now's the time to put the case.

More on Walking Cities: West Midlands