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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Yep, and also you have to go up a hill to QE then onto the roundabout where the sinkhole happened, before going back onto the road (I think) to get back down the hill to Sainsbury's triangle. So a diversion, over a hill, part on busy roads, part on crap shared pavements, with multiple road crossings, not really suitable compared to a straight run up or down the hill through selly oak high street.

Totally agree that it's an area ripe for filtered permeability as well.


Ryan Stait said:

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

This is very good news but it's a shame it wasn't planned 3 years ago when the cycle revolution started. I hope the other routes still happen and are up to the same standard but that is likely to be many years away if it happens at all. I might be moving out of Birmingham before these routes are finished so I may never get a chance to use them. 

I've already been stirring the pot with regard to the Selly Oak Triangle plans.   The new BCR plans for the A38 make the Highways plans look even more outdated and unsuitable.

Push Bikes has seen the engineering drawings for the A38. A lot of work has gone into the engineering to ensure the route will be safe and reasonably swift for cyclists.   Let's hope that gets transferred to the implementation.   We've already been in contact with Deirdre, and she's happy because pedestrians will be getting a crossing at Priory Road.

The plans for the triangle use a picture of CS7 in London but they are only referring to a short section at a crossing. I responded that it should be full segregation like the picture and asked them to please not mess it up again like phase 1. Councillors want segregation from Selly Oak to Longbridge and soon.

The great thing about both routes is that we will get proper separation and hopefully higher quality infrastructure so that people will actually use it - like the Rea Valley Route. This will enable councillors and potential users from other areas to go to the A38 and A34 and say that they want the same standard (or better) where they are. Also the visibility right next to two massive car commuter routes will re-inforce that cycling is an alternative to driving to work. I think we need to back these two routes and make them successful for BCC so that it does more of the same. 

I'm really pleased by these plans.  I hope they don't get watered down.  But it's very very good news and when they're implemented, I should think they will prove to be very popular. 

How will the routes be connected in the city centre?  Is there any information on that?  If it's done well, it could be a great flagship route. It is what Birmingham needs to encourage cycling, people have been shouting about it for a long time, especially as some of the BCR routes have been so disappointing. Here's hoping this is a sign of a change in thinking.

if the plans god through it could be nationally significant, Birmingham is the UK  Auto city so despite what is happening in Manchester, London, Leicester and so forth this will signify more on a national level. I don't want to tempt fate though and many good plans are watered down or broken up - fingers crossed.


I agree - this looks great and could be enormously positive.  We need to both support the proposal and keep pressing for good implementation.


John K said:

The great thing about both routes is that we will get proper separation and hopefully higher quality infrastructure so that people will actually use it - like the Rea Valley Route. This will enable councillors and potential users from other areas to go to the A38 and A34 and say that they want the same standard (or better) where they are. Also the visibility right next to two massive car commuter routes will re-inforce that cycling is an alternative to driving to work. I think we need to back these two routes and make them successful for BCC so that it does more of the same. 

The city centre end needs to go somewhere useful if this is to attract people to cycle into town.
As I said in the Push Bikes news post linked to above the plans for the link into the city centre are being upgraded. I understand it will connect with NCN5 at the top end of Hurst Street, and will be of the same quality as the rest of the route. So that's looking good, but alas NCN5 is in a mess again as the rest of BCC is still in 1970.

The Bristol Road route will have segregated space across the junction with the Middleway, and then a cycle track up Bristol Street, onto Bromsgrove Street to connect with NCN 5. The Bristol Street route was part of BCR 1, and the section on Bristol Street suffered from some watering down. The BCR team said last week that they were taking those plans back to the drawing board to bring them up to the standard that is planned for Bristol Road - which is promising. What will happen on Bromsgrove Street is less clear.

From NCN 5, I suspect that the route will go up Smallbrook Queensway - there is much more space on this road now that the only private motor traffic on it is mainly going to the car park entrance. Hopefully the BCR team can fit in segregated infrastructure there.

The road under the Bull Ring to Moor Street Queensway won't get segregation I think - but it is only shared with buses and taxis. Then the biggest challenge will be Moor Street Queensway, which still carries a lot of private motor traffic as well as being a bus station and taxi route. Dale End might be used as part of that route - the plans for the A34 show segregated tracks up to the end of Dale End.

I don't think that the plans for the A38 or A34 will get watered down - they are not taking any space from motor traffic, so there will be minimal political push back. The city centre connection will be far more challenging and I don't have high hopes that we will get the same quality of segregated cycle tracks all the way through.


Laura said:

I'm really pleased by these plans.  I hope they don't get watered down.  But it's very very good news and when they're implemented, I should think they will prove to be very popular. 

How will the routes be connected in the city centre?  Is there any information on that?  If it's done well, it could be a great flagship route. It is what Birmingham needs to encourage cycling, people have been shouting about it for a long time, especially as some of the BCR routes have been so disappointing. Here's hoping this is a sign of a change in thinking.

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