Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Changes to Birmingham Cycle Revolution Main Routes

As mentioned previously, BCR are proposing that highway schemes should now be focused on two high quality (mainly) segregated routes - A38 Bristol Road to Selly Oak and A34 Birchfield Road to Perry Barr. Other main corridor schemes will not go ahead as planned.

The proposed changes are to be presented to Council Cabinet next Tuesday (13th December ) for approval.

Reports are available here  (excerpts below) no drawings are included but I heard on the grapevine that one lane of traffic will be taken from motor vehicles on Bristol Road. Using the central reservation was also mentioned at a Northfield meeting recently. 

With substantial elements of the Phase 1 programme having been completed, significant feedback has emerged from Cabinet Members, Ward Councillors, senior officers, cycle stakeholder groups and the wider public regarding the effectiveness of the cycle infrastructure measures introduced to date. Overall, there is a consensus that the Canal Routes, Green Routes and substantial parts of the Supporting Measures programme are proving to be attractive for cyclists and have been successful in delivering an increased number of trips in support of overall strategic objectives. 

There is a further consensus however that certain elements of the highway scheme programme do not meet the aspirations of either existing or potential new cyclists, and that the desired step-change in modal shift which BCR aspires to will only be achieved if the forward programme is re-focused on a smaller number of higher-quality routes. Since the original BCR bids were submitted there has also been a significant increase in the expectations of the cycling community in terms of the quality of routes and the facilities provided, including a move towards greater segregation on Main Corridor routes.

Particular concern has also been expressed about the effectiveness of the Parallel Routes scheme package, which overall has not been well received by a number of stakeholders. The original funding bids envisaged that these routes would primarily be identified by lining and signing, and it is now clear that such measures in isolation do not meet stakeholder expectations, and are unlikely to encourage significant increases in cycle patronage, particularly on relatively busy roads.

The next cycle forum is the day after council approves these changes (or not) so hopefully there will be more information available then if not before more info here 

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I think the parallel routes were always going to be largely ineffective. Just more road signage and paint , pushing cyclists to the margins and not encouraging for  keen but not that confident  new riders.

The Grand Union canal route is not well used currently. The useage dropped off hugely when it went dark at evening commute.

I am using it most weekday mornings and evenings, for the full length, and I have not seen any questionable individuals or behaviour. The surface is good through Birmingham, including when below zero. Even thru the unsurfaced Solihull section it is not very muddy.

Compared to the dark, congested roads like the A45,  it is a dream.

I would encourage people to give it a go, despite the dark. Modern Cree lights are so good, and cheap.

So spending a load of cash painting logos of bikes on roads like Ladypool road hasn't made any difference? Oh my god, I am so shocked, I can't believe it!
Seriously, who made these decisions? Idiots. I have unfortunately no faith in BCR delivering anything worthwhile, but I still live in hope. I think concentrating on fewer routes is a better option so let's see.
Ultimately all cities are in competition with each other for investment, business, attracting students etc and I think when it comes to cycling infrastructure, Brum is being left behind by London, Leicester, Newcastle, Manchester etc, and that may be what finally makes them realise they have to keep up. If Selly Oak was a "mini holland" type scheme, it would be so much more attractive to prospective students.

great news that finally we'll get some on road segregated infrastructure.

Will be going to the foum next week. I think it's really poor that they are stopping at the University and not going on past the selly oak triangle to northfield/longbridge.

It'd be simple to segregate selly oak high street and the selly oak triangle junction is out for consultation on a total remodel, then there's a short section before you have the same central reservation again.

By cutting it at Selly Oak it means there's not many residences that will actually be served by this - just a small amount of houses in Edgbaston. Residents of Northfield and beyond won't be able to get to this section. Harborne walkway will connect through the uni but that's a bit of  diversion.

If they got up to sainsbury's they would at least connect the canal and railway station.

I think the idea is that it connects with the shared-use pavements on the Selly Oak bypass... actually, do they even go all the way up to the triangle?  I've never thought to check.  And from there, the new-20cm-less-bollocks cycle lanes on the A38.  Agreed that continuing the segregated route up Selly Oak High Street is an obvious next step - maybe there will be political will for that if this route is successful.

It's a start.  (Assuming they don't cock it up with low-priority light timings and lack of maintenance.  I'm looking at all those leaves in that second artist's impression...)

There are many residential streets in Selly Oak that would benefit greatly from the filtered permeability treatment.

Looks promising...and would be the first bit of arterial segregated cycleroad in Brum for getting on for 20 years....so will be nice if/when it finally happens.

Of course, we await the fine details......for instance in the second pic above, will there be an undertaking to sweep the path of  foliage regularly? (eg the bit down to Cheddar Rd from Belgrave which is currently full of road chutney)  How will the Perry Barr route deal with side roads....will the cyclist get any protection at the point where conflict is most likely or will this be the bit where the segregation peters out? (e.g. Chester Rd)   Will there be strict parking enforcement ? (e.g. Chester Rd again).

And I'm interested to know why they chose the Perry Barr route - I would have though something from North Brum down the Sutton Rd/ Brum Rd / Gravelly Hill / Lichfield Rd would have a lot more cycle traffic on it, and we really want the first couple of routes to be very successful - that way we get more routes built.  But got to start somewhere.....I guess the route from Sutton is much harder due to being longer and having less room to fit the segregated cycleroad in between Erdington and Sutton.

I'm looking forward to it going before council...

The cycle routes on the A34 to Perry Barr and the A38 to Selly Oak will join up via the city centre. This will mean you can cycle easily and safely from the north to the south of the city.

http://www.bhamcyclerevolution.org.uk/page/CityCentre

Be interesting to see how they get eastwards to the start of the Perry Barr route - I'm assuming it'll run up Hurst St to Vicky Sq to avoid the trams, but then you've got to go the wrong way down Colmore which means lots of tacking back and forwards in the surrounding side streets. 

Perhaps they will adopt Chris from Push Bikes' idea http://www.pushbikes.org.uk/blog/colmore-row-cross-city-cycle-route 

Simon said:

Be interesting to see how they get eastwards to the start of the Perry Barr route - I'm assuming it'll run up Hurst St to Vicky Sq to avoid the trams, but then you've got to go the wrong way down Colmore which means lots of tacking back and forwards in the surrounding side streets. 

Very positive. The link to the Selly Oak New Road worries me though as the paths there often go to nowhere. Hopefully there will be some upgrading too. In reply to Kim's question they do go the Triangle but only after crisscrossing the carriageway about 4 times (I'm sure Robert wrote an article/made a video about this). I use the road
 
LS said:

The cycle routes on the A34 to Perry Barr and the A38 to Selly Oak will join up via the city centre. This will mean you can cycle easily and safely from the north to the south of the city.

http://www.bhamcyclerevolution.org.uk/page/CityCentre

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