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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Interestingly that junction has the visual priority treatment given to continental side roads, but ultra-slack British geometry.   It's like a bread-free cheese sandwich.   I hope they sort that out.

As a regular rider at  5AM on the A34 I personally welcome any improvements. As people have said it is wide  enough to provide this at minimal disruption but obviously Lancaster Circus is a big issue blocking the path to the City Centre.

hopefully this will be all segregated and we would see expansion past these routes, notably as John mentioned the A1527, Pershore, Tyburn and Stratford Roads.

There is currently a shared use path through the middle of that island. Not sure how they are going to make that end work. Similarly, the complex of roads at Perry Barr by the One Stop Shopping Centre and City University also presents a challenge.

We will know if they have got it right if they can actually make it join up at both ends in a useable way.


ian robathan said:

As a regular rider at  5AM on the A34 I personally welcome any improvements. As people have said it is wide  enough to provide this at minimal disruption but obviously Lancaster Circus is a big issue blocking the path to the City Centre.

hopefully this will be all segregated and we would see expansion past these routes, notably as John mentioned the A1527, Pershore, Tyburn and Stratford Roads.

Tell me about it on both points, that shared use lan is hopeless as you have go down and through a subway tunnel, as for One stop it is a total mess full stop and coming out of town is bloody dangerous to get past the dog track. 

One point I would make is that there is a very good cycle lane on the Chester Road up towards Birmingham business Park, where I work. Nicely segregated and should be the model for the whole of the West Mids .... shame it is just two miles long and could be extended onto the collector road. 


Tim Beasley said:

There is currently a shared use path through the middle of that island. Not sure how they are going to make that end work. Similarly, the complex of roads at Perry Barr by the One Stop Shopping Centre and City University also presents a challenge.

We will know if they have got it right if they can actually make it join up at both ends in a useable way.

I used to live on Bromsgrove street opposite the tesco.  I don't know what it's like these days but you used to get an awful lot of drivers (and Tesco delivery lorries) making it very awkward for people cycling up Hurst St.  On the side that connects with Bristol street you get a lot of people parking there for the cashpoints despite the yellow lines and taxis in the evenings stopping in the middle of the road.  If that's going to be part of the route they will need to think carefully about the traffic and how that's going to mix with (I hope) a greatly increased number of cyclists.

Yes, the city centre part of things past NCN5 is going to be tricky. I haven't looked at the A34 plans to see what you mean about dale end but I will have a look. I see a lot of cyclists on Moor St Queensway though, so it's obviously a popular route despite the buses and traffic. I will hope for segregation but we will see I suppose.
Chris Lowe said:

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.

Southside BID Manager has told me that Hurst Street will become a no parking zone all the way down to Tesco.

Laura said:

I used to live on Bromsgrove street opposite the tesco.  I don't know what it's like these days but you used to get an awful lot of drivers (and Tesco delivery lorries) making it very awkward for people cycling up Hurst St.  On the side that connects with Bristol street you get a lot of people parking there for the cashpoints despite the yellow lines and taxis in the evenings stopping in the middle of the road.  If that's going to be part of the route they will need to think carefully about the traffic and how that's going to mix with (I hope) a greatly increased number of cyclists.

Yes, the city centre part of things past NCN5 is going to be tricky. I haven't looked at the A34 plans to see what you mean about dale end but I will have a look. I see a lot of cyclists on Moor St Queensway though, so it's obviously a popular route despite the buses and traffic. I will hope for segregation but we will see I suppose.
Chris Lowe said:

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.

More details have been added to the BCR site (unless I missed them?)

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

Proposed new route map

1. Cycle track from Hurst Street to Belgrave Interchange, segregated from traffic and pedestrians.
2. Belgrave Interchange: dedicated cycle track through junction between Bristol Road and Bristol Street, improvements for pedestrians, a safer design for right turning traffic from the A38 onto the Middleway. (Artist’s impression below)
3. Wellington Road: alterations to existing signal crossing, creating separate facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.
Section A: Cycle track on the west side of Bristol Road, using some of the current footway space. Cyclists will be at different height to both traffic and pedestrians. (Illustration of cycle route layout below)
4. Priory crossroads: addition of three pedestrian crossings and a continuous cycling track across Priory Road. Some turning movements will be banned, improving safety and efficiency of the junction.
5. New signal controlled crossing to bring cyclists from the west side of the road to the central reservation.
Section B: Cycle track running within the tree lined central reservation, segregated from pedestrians and traffic. (Illustration of cycle route layout below)
6. Pebble Mill Road: signalisation of the right turn from Bristol Road into Pebble Mill Road. Right turn from Pebble Mill Road banned.
7. Eastern Road: two part cycle crossing of the gap in the central reservation.
8. Edgbaston Park Road: minor junction alterations including a signal controlled crossing to bring cyclists from the central reservation to the west side of Bristol Road. Pedestrian facilities improved.
9. Bournbrook Road/University South Gate: slight change to junction layout to accommodate cycle route. Route links with cycle facilities on Selly Oak New Road and the Selly Oak Green Travel District.

Also http://www.bhamcyclerevolution.org.uk/page/36/city-centre-to-perry-... 

Will the Bristol Road footway be resurfaced? What measures to stop parking on the footway? What measures to make it safe as lots of private driveways cross the path?

The cycle track will be new machine laid tarmac. There'll be a kerb separating it from the motor traffic lanes, but we've been told that the intention is that it will look like part of the carriageway, rather than a part of the pavement.

Parking on the pavement along Bristol Road is an issue in places. I don't think that there are any specific measures currently suggested. The kerb between the cycle track and the pavement will have a shallow angle, so it will be easy to move between the two to get around obstacles. If someone parks in the cycle track, I suggest that we get photographic evidence of them causing an obstruction of the highway (which is what the cycle track counts as) and then report it to the transport police.

I regularly cycle down the shared use footpath on Bristol Road - there are a lot of private driveways but they are infrequently used and I haven't encountered any issues. I do not think that they will be a problem.


Robert Jones said:

Will the Bristol Road footway be resurfaced? What measures to stop parking on the footway? What measures to make it safe as lots of private driveways cross the path?

I would love to see detailed plans of birds eye view what the lane will look via PDF aha.

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