A SECOND bid for cash to improve walking and cycle routes in Worcestershire has been submitted by the county council following criticism the first application was not ambitious enough.

Worcestershire County Council has applied for a second grant of £1.082m from the government's Emergency Active Travel Fund which, if approved, will pay for canal towpaths to be widened to at least two metres in areas between Stourport and Churchfields in Kidderminster.

In July, the council announced that walking and cycling routes between Kidderminster and Stourport would benefit from a share of £135,000 from the fund, however Wyre Forest district councillor and Green Party member Vicky Caulfield said the bid showed a "lack of ambition".

Cllr Caulfield had previously joined calls for the fund to be used to widen the the narrow footpaths on Bewdley Bridge.

This second round of funding would allow the council to widen and improve canal towpaths along the Silverwoods link, near Wyre Forest Leisure Centre, and other areas along the route between Stourport and Kidderminster.

Councillor Alan Amos, cabinet member for Highways said: “We already have an excellent programme of Active Travel works underway and I am delighted that the City and District Councils fully support our bid. I am grateful for their support.

"Many of our schemes involve partnership working and we will be dependent on this joint working approach so that we can make things happen for the residents of Worcestershire by expanding our Active Travel facilities with permanent rather than temporary provision.”

Other projects set to benefit from the second round of funding include the National Cycle Network 5 route through Redditch and the towpath from Diglis to Sixways in Worcester, the Pershore Active Travel Link.