Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Cyclists attacked on Grand Union Canal tow path

Posting on behalf of JRA

The ongoing improvements to the off-road cycle route going East out of Birmingham along the Grand Union Canal have been a big improvement to commuting, especially with winter coming. I felt there has been an increasing number of people using the route each morning and teatime.


Unfortunately, there have been a group of Asian youths gathering at the Ackers and/or Golden Hillock Bridges. There has been the odd jeer and incidents of them stepping into the path of cyclists, or nudging bikes when passing.

Last Wednesday on the commute home a determined attempt was made by two Asian youths to push me into the canal from my bike, which failed due to the railing at the Ackers Bridge. However, they then punched me repeatedly in the face, broke my nose and split my lip. They tried to steal my bike and money, but did not succeed. Fortunately, two more cyclists arrived and were very helpful.
I immediately called the police, who chose not to attend the incident, despite the fact the youths were still present. They are now taking action, as they tell me there was a similar incident at the same place 3 days before, where a lady was pushed in the canal.


I suggest we need a solution to this. The same youths are there many, possibly most evenings and they are going to destroy the hard work put in by everyone to create this vital cycle route.


Whilst the police need to act definitively and swiftly, I wonder if those using the route should think about stopping briefly to allow others to arrive and cycling in twos and threes on this stretch through Yardley?


I am sorry for the negative message, but I cannot find an alternative means of ensuring this issue is brought to everyone's attention.

If anyone has any similar experiences then please can they tell the police.

Thank you

JRA

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At about 08:10 this morning I saw an older man in cycle clothing walking down Golden Hillock Road (without a bike) and then going down the steps to the towpath.  He looked pretty pissed off.  I wonder if the same sort of thing has happened again?

I doubt it in the morning.

CKS said:

At about 08:10 this morning I saw an older man in cycle clothing walking down Golden Hillock Road (without a bike) and then going down the steps to the towpath.  He looked pretty pissed off.  I wonder if the same sort of thing has happened again?

In the six months I've been cycling on this route, I've never seen any of these people around in the morning.  Only in the afternoon/early evenings.

CKS said:

At about 08:10 this morning I saw an older man in cycle clothing walking down Golden Hillock Road (without a bike) and then going down the steps to the towpath.  He looked pretty pissed off.  I wonder if the same sort of thing has happened again?

Which, if you were a profiler, may suggest they are of school age or unemployed/unemployable deadbeats. 

Spoke said:

In the six months I've been cycling on this route, I've never seen any of these people around in the morning.  Only in the afternoon/early evenings.

CKS said:

At about 08:10 this morning I saw an older man in cycle clothing walking down Golden Hillock Road (without a bike) and then going down the steps to the towpath.  He looked pretty pissed off.  I wonder if the same sort of thing has happened again?

Possible alternative routes below. Map 1 is the canal route where the idiots hang out. Map 2 is via Warwick Road. Map 3 is via Coventry Road but I would avoid the dual carriageway unless it's crawling traffic and go via Byron Road which is just above A45 then Waverley Road / Oldknow Road to Coventry Road near ASDA. 

Had 2 lads try the same with me last night at the same place at about 5pm. When ive passed there earlier inthe evening they aren't there so would suggest they are school kids .

Have you reported it to 101? The police are currently piecing together all the incidents. 

Phillip Brennan said:

Had 2 lads try the same with me last night at the same place at about 5pm. When ive passed there earlier inthe evening they aren't there so would suggest they are school kids .
Yes . They also started on another chap after I had gone through so had to go back to make sure they didn't harm him.

Underneath the railway bridge?

Phillip Brennan said:

Yes . They also started on another chap after I had gone through so had to go back to make sure they didn't harm him.
Yes seems to be there spot because there are 4 escape routes

Good for you for going back and helping. 

Phillip Brennan said:

Yes seems to be there spot because there are 4 escape routes

My incident last week wasn't as severe as the recent assaults, but resulted in a BBC WM interview this am (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p033d690#play & scroll forward to about 1hr 50 minutes into the programme). And the piece in the Birmingham Mail (see http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/doctor-beaten-up...) has also highlighted the problem. In my statement to the police this morning I mentioned the media interest and the officer said the matter was receiving attention. I have subsequently received another call from a more senior officer to reassure me that action would be taken. As the attacks occur at about the same time of day it makes it easier for the police to deal with it. They would like to make some arrests and discuss the issue with the community before it escalates especially as they are aware that this could become a bigger problem in the dark. I am quite optimistic that we can get our towpath back again. But we must keep reporting the incidents and be prepared to identify the offenders if asked to do so.

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