Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

In a few years of commuting by bike in Brum, I had my first "punishment pass" on Tuesday night. I was crossing Bradford Street on Birchall Street. (As discussed in another thread, I have stopped using the turning into Rea street as it is too blocked up with cars since blocking it off around there). I was going straight over the crossroads, so took primary position. There was a car in front of me and a car behind, and I went straight over as soon as I reached the junction, I didn't hold anybody up. Despite this, the cock in the car behind gave me the worst pass I have ever experienced. I gesticulated in a non-complimentary way and he waited for me at the next junction.
We had a rather heated exchange and his opening gambit was "how much road do you need? Get on the left", I said "I was going straight on at a crossroads, I was taking the lane". His reply was "have you read the Highway Code? I have!"
I am ashamed to say I properly lost my temper and may have sworn once or twice. But it really was so close and so unnecessary, I didn't hold him up for one second, and the other side of the road was completely clear for him to give me all the space possible.
I hate that it needs to be like this. How the hell are we meant to get a higher uptake of cycling when people drive with such entitlement?
It frustrates me too that with Birchall Street and Rea street running parallel to each other it is such an easy win to make one or the other filtered permeability. As they are, they are such rat runs. Does anyone know if this has ever been raised as an option by anyone at the coucil or anything?

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Push Bikes hasn't raised that specific street as a candidate for filtered permeability, but we have talked about the benefits of filtered permeability time and time again, both in BCR stakeholder meetings and on our website.   This article, for example, shows how a few simple changes could quieten an entire area and eliminate the rat-running residents are fed up with,   Its title alone, "No Ring Road Required", is an indicator of the excuses found to avoid a tried, trusted, and low cost technique.   It's easy to achieve, and you can do it experimentally using planters and a temporary TRO, so it can be tweaked and support for the scheme built (when people see how it benefits them).   It works in cities, and it works out in the countryside.

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