MP calls for backing in People’s Million regional finals

Birmingham cycle bid for community funding.

Birmingham MP Richard Burdenis calling on the city’s residents to vote for Cycle South Brum in the People’s Millions final on 26th November.

The Northfield MP, who was recently appointed shadow transport minister, is urging people in Birmingham to vote for the project proposed by Northfield’s Town Centre Partnership and EcoCentre in a prime time TV vote. The Big Lottery Fund and ITV are giving the public a chance to vote for the community projects they want to receive funding, with up to £50,000 available for 76 charitable projects across the UK which aim to improve the local community.

Cycle South Brum will create Northfield’s first ever bike hub, offering a range of bike sizes to local people to hire for free. The project will also provide bike maintenance courses, adult bike lessons and run group cycling activities for all ages and abilities – including on local cycle and commuter routes. It follows the success of a £24 million bid for Birmingham to become a ‘Cycle City’, approved by the City Council and Department of Transport in August 2013.

On October 30th, it was announced that Cycle South Brum has been nominated to go head to head in a phone vote with another regional project on ITV news on the 26th November 2013. Votes can only be cast telephone, and the phone number will be released in the Daily Mirror on the day of the competition.

Commenting on the Cycle South Brum bid, Richard Burden MP said: “I’m throwing my weight behind Cycle South Brum to win our regional People’s Millions.

“Cycling improves people’s health and wellbeing, reduces the amount of trips people need to make by car and supports people getting to work cheaply. Free bike access will be a real boost for local people struggling with the high costs of transport, and will support people in Northfield searching for work too. Birmingham was recently voted as the worse city in the country for cycling, with only 1% of commuters making trips by bike. We need major improvements to cycling infrastructure here if we are to change people’s transport habits in the long term.

“We also need to halt the worrying rise in cyclist casualties, which should be a wake up call to the Government for action on road safety. As a Shadow Transport Minister, I aim to put cycling at the forefront of Labour’s transport policy – with a secure long term budget, support for local authorities and the promise that all new transport projects must pass a rigorous cycle safety assessment.

I’m proud to support Northfield’s own Centre Partnership and EcoCentre in this exciting project, and encourage everyone in Birmingham to back our cycle bid on the 26th November.Voting for the bike scheme will help not only help local people save money and cut carbon emissions, but stay healthy and happy and support community cohesion. Northfield, like the UK as a whole, needs a gear change for cycling and this vote is an important start.”