Birmingham has been ranked one of the worst UK cities for cycling and walking.
The finding comes from the Campaign for Better Transport which has published a “car dependency scorecard”, ranking 26 UK cities on their public transport, their provision for cyclists and pedestrians, and their transport plans for the future.
For cycling and walking as alternatives to the car, Birmingham is at the bottom of the league, ranked 25 out of 26 cities and scoring better only than Gateshead. In comparison, Cambridge is judged to be the most pedestrian and cycle-friendly of all the cities, with the highest proportion of commuter cycling and more than 75 per cent of children walking or cycling to school.
The researchers measured how accessible the city centre is by bike, levels of cycling and walking to school, the condition of pavements, the proportion of cyclists in the morning rush hour and the rate of pedestrian deaths and injuries in road accidents for each city. They found Birmingham “scores badly for both pedestrian safety and commuter journeys by cycle”.
The Campaign claims a fifth of car journeys are less than two miles and could easily be made by cycling or walking, but it also says cycling and walking are under-represented in terms of planning and funding.
For driving and car use, Birmingham is in the lower half of the table, ranked 15th out of 26. But the city scores better for the quality and uptake of buses and trains, and for accessibility and planning, ranked ninth out of 26.
Overall, Birmingham lands just below the half-way mark, ranked 15th out of 26 cities.