Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Afternoon everyone.

I have started cycling back into work after a break over the winter.

Getting into the city via Chinatown up the cycle path on Hill street I noticed a bit late that the option to go straight ahead up Hill Street past New Street has been removed and instead you are meant to go right, up along Smallbrook Queensway. I ended up walking up Hill Street and up to Colmore Row as I just couldn’t work out how you were meant to get to the Colmore Row following the cycle path without practically going via Digbeth.

Picking my way back from work back to the A38 along all the closed off roads and the new barriers seemed impossible as well without either, taking a huge detour, walking a large part of the way, cycling the wrong way up the road or going along New Street. 

There are small cycle paths I noticed, but these are either not clearly marked so pedestrians ignore them or more often than not, seem to lead nowhere!

I know that its intended that the new A34 and A38 routes will link up with new infrastructure in the city in an attempt to make the whole city centre accessible but I can’t for the life of me see how that’s going to work right now.

Frankly, while it’s great that new main cycle routes are being implemented, I can’t see that any real thought has gone into what happens when you arrive at the ends of the routes.

I have tried to see if I can find any plans or implementation dates for future cycle routes in the city centre so I can work out a decent route for now and for the future but I’m currently drawing a blank as both council and BCR websites only note that information about city centre improvements will be added in the future.

Does anyone have any ideas or further information?

Thanks!

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I think you have correctly identified the poor provision for cycling in the city centre. Sadly the tram development and various building projects have made things even worse. The best option is probably to do battle with the pedestrians on New Street and use the contra flow up to Temple Row. Of course the pedestrians think you aren't allowed to cycle there and drivers think you're going the wrong way up a one way street. Neither make the journey efficient or pleasant. 

Yes, you're right, the city centre is a complete pig's ear.   Instead of improving permeability for cycles, the council has made it far worse.

To get to Colmore Row from Hill Street I take Navigation Street to Stephenson Street, and then ignore the NO CYCLING sign and go straight across to Lower Temple Street (this was legal until the tram tracks were laid).   From there it's New Street - Bennetts Hill - Waterloo Street - Temple Row West.

This is part of the route I take to get to the Birmingham Cycle Revolution stakeholder meetings.   For these I turn right on Temple Row and go through the shopping arcade.   Indeed I often see other people cycling through the arcade too.   Is there a NO CYCLING sign where Temple Row meets the tram tracks?   I can't remember, there are just so many.   If there is, I ignore it.   I much prefer not to break the law, but there's just no sensible way to cycle through the city centre without guerilla action.

I agree. Some people moan about cycling on footpaths, the wrong way down one way streets etc but it's virtually impossible to cross the city centre by bike otherwise. 

Although the cycle lane at the top of Hurst Street is now on the right hand side I haven't seen anything stopping cyclists from going straight ahead and up Hill Street or have I missed something? If I have I will carry on missing it.  There is the option of using the new cycle lane on Dudley Street and joining Hill Street after the Queensway but it's a lot further. Avoiding the lights which can take forever might mean it's not much slower though.

Thanks for the responses. 

Honestly, right now I prefer the cycle commute in London to here (which is not something I ever thought i would say!)

With the 2020 games coming up hopefully this is something the council will look to address in the near future.

Agreed the lights are phased so you can go where you like. Most cyclists do go up Hill Street. Let's be 
careful out there.
LS said:

I agree. Some people moan about cycling on footpaths, the wrong way down one way streets etc but it's virtually impossible to cross the city centre by bike otherwise. 

Although the cycle lane at the top of Hurst Street is now on the right hand side I haven't seen anything stopping cyclists from going straight ahead and up Hill Street or have I missed something? If I have I will carry on missing it.  There is the option of using the new cycle lane on Dudley Street and joining Hill Street after the Queensway but it's a lot further. Avoiding the lights which can take forever might mean it's not much slower though.

the cycle signing / routes are not currently clear and need addressing around Temple Street/ broad street

Ethel street between Stephenson st and broad st  is another route in this area to use
 
Steve said:

I think you have correctly identified the poor provision for cycling in the city centre. Sadly the tram development and various building projects have made things even worse. The best option is probably to do battle with the pedestrians on New Street and use the contra flow up to Temple Row. Of course the pedestrians think you aren't allowed to cycle there and drivers think you're going the wrong way up a one way street. Neither make the journey efficient or pleasant. 

I find Ethel Street less useful than adjacent streets especially now there are big ugly concrete blocks restricting three quarters of it. I preferred it when there were Sheffield stands.

 

There should be some temporary cycle signs for routing / reduce conflicts with pedestrians . I'll make some enquiries / suggestions

Regards

dave

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