Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

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Dunno about that the A458 will be closed for 10 miles.
How do people cross it ? Its a long stretch of road.

I'm a cyclist and was fairly sanguine about the event but not now. The road closure could have been enacted using 'rolling closure' which envelopes the cyclists during the period of their passage. Instead, Velobirmingham have opted for a punitive and excessive road closure period, for the most unused by either normal users or sportive cyclists. Assuming that their current proposal covered the entire period of cyclists passing along the highway, the cyclists would need to ride at 120mph in order to benefit from the commencement of the closure. Velobirmingham's actions show lack of any due diligence. Additionally, for a Traffic Order to be implemented, stakeholders must be consulted by the relevant highways authority. In my local area, their has been no required consultation of parish councils as required by the Act. As a result, their has been a failure in duty. It is sad to say, that Velobirmingham's arrogant attitude will result in unnecessary hostility to the cycling community - the very community they purport to support.. I recommend that residents and cyclists contact their councillor to see a relaxation in the period covered by the Traffic Regulation Order for all our sakes. 

Ironically, the road closure is going to be as useful as a chocolate teapot for Velobirmingham for preventing non-entrants using the road. To enact the closure, a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order has to be applied. Unfortunately for Velobirmingham, they are used to restrict vehicular traffic. The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 says that local authorities must exercise their traffic regulation powers to secure the safe passage of all traffic, including walkers, horse riders, cyclists and motor and horse-drawn vehicles. In other words, the TRO cannot discriminate between paying or non-paying cyclists.

Your 120mph figure might be a bit off.

You'll see that the road closures begin at 5am for the start of the VeloBirmingham route. RideLondon (which seems similar in scope/size to this event) begins around that time (for the fastest riders).

A casual look at the first 100 riders alphabetically for last year's RideLondon shows that quite a few (12/100, by my count) made it to mile 75 in 3 and a half hours or less, and I'm sure there were some speed demons in the bunch doing it quicker than that.

If VeloBirmingham starts around 5am it's not unfeasible that faster riders will be nearing Belbroughton (eg. about 80 miles in) between 8-8:30am. For these riders in particular it's important those roads are closed to traffic as they'll likely be moving at a fast pace (and quite tired!).

So: I don't think they're being unreasonable with regards to safety here, and I don't think you've got too much to moan about here given the frequency of events like this and the notice you've been given.

The only hostility I've seen so far towards cyclists about this event is you having a moan here...

We should remeber this event is attracting top fast riders, those like me in the middle and basically novices. The Hagley Road etc to Stourbridge will be open before midday.

Again what's the beef here ?

That we in the West Mids are not allowed the same as the Velothon and Ride London ?

What next the pitchforks in Belbroughton will be out and tacks put down like happened in the Velothon ?

I suspect that the lack of grumbling might be down to he fact that only a tiny number of people are aware of this.  The Velo Birmingham site suggests that they are sending out a mail shot in March so things may well change

Maybe its because its a profit making machine aimed at the few cyclists rather than the majority.

Bear in mind things like the sky ride open to all ages and abilities to gain confidence isnt on again due to lack of time.
I'd love my family to be able to ride on our local roads with no traffic

Andrew, my boss lives not he route and everyone has had their mail shot. This is 6 MONTHS before the event for one day, FFS not beyond people to work out an alternative. YES if a marathon was affecting my access I would be happy to allow that for a day. Christ if you live near a football ground every other weekend you get disturbed either by excess traffic, litter or general disturbances.

Actually the people find it nice and pleasant to have no cars around for a few hours etc ?

Ian, closed road events are not cheap but very popular, Many people will be staying in the centre, using hotels, eating at Italian restaurants etc and spending cash locally. As for aiming at a few 15K is a few ? no I would say that is a lot and it is only slightly more expensive than a standard sportive which has no road closures.

Good analogy.  I used to own a car and live round the corner form Bramall Lane.  In spite of a negative interest in football, we made a point to note the times of Sheffield United's fixtures, as returning home by car within a couple of hours of kickoff was basically futile.

These things are only a problem if they catch you unaware.  Residents should have plenty of notice, and ought to be able to plan around it.  It's people coming to the area from outside who might get caught out, but that's harder to avoid.

ian robathan said:

Christ if you live near a football ground every other weekend you get disturbed either by excess traffic, litter or general disturbances.

I'm sorry, but I'm leaning towards Phillip Whitehead's position on the problem these road closures will cause.

The disruption cause by football traffic only slows people down, it doesn't stop them from travelling completely, like this event will do. 

Reasonable people may be happy to change their plans to accommodate it, but what about the unreasonable, or those who can't? Do you want to be the one to run over a load of tacks thrown on the road by a disgruntled resident? I don't.

There are a lot of companies in Droitwich as well, who run 24/7 (like Robert Wiseman Dairies). Are these companies suppose to just take the day off? I don't think so.

The disruption caused, will hit more than those you think, which just seems to be householder right now. I can see farmers having problems, home delivery drivers, Sunday footballers, plenty of people. I can see so many people having an issue with the closures, as they currently stand, for the route to be changed slightly, or for roads not to be completely closed. i.e. dual carriageways being split, one side riders, the other drivers.

It is only a provisional route at the moment, isn't it?

Look at the route Joe, plenty of alternatives if you are aware of it and notice is key for this kind of event. I think 6 months is more than enough to tell people.

Heck people may actually have to stay at home with the family instead of shopping at Asda.

How daunting.

I've looked at the route and I know Droitwich pretty well too. You're still focusing on householder Ian. 

Tell me, how are the companies on Pointon Way in Droitwich going to get on? Will farmers have to take a day off from milking their cows, because the milk tankers can't get to the plant? 

It would be interesting to see what info the organiser are putting out regarding this event (something I'll have to check tomorrow). Cyclist may know about it, but I bet there are plenty of others who will only be finding out, when a leaflet comes through the door. I can't see how closures can be implemented/finalised, if affected parties (including businesses) have not had a chance to voice their concerns.

If the organisers want to make this an annual event, which I'd like to see, they need to get it right. Councils may be on board this year, but if it causes massive problems and upsets voters, next year (2018), which is an election year, things may be completely different.  

wherever you have closed roads events the same applies whether Wales or London, people will cope as they always do. 

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