Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

No, the title of this thread is not incorrect.

Velo Birmingham 2017 was possibly one of the most controversial sportives to ever enter the calendar with both cyclists and communities at loggerheads between themselves and with each other.  So I have been undertaking some analysis on the current political situation for Velo Midland 2018.

Birmingham City Council and CSM were contractually committed to deliver Velo for a total of five years but BCC’s ineptitude completely overlooked the jurisdictional differences with neighbouring local authorities. As a policy analysist, I call this an implementation gap. Others will refer to it as a ‘cock-up’.   As covered in great depth elsewhere on the 2017 event, Birmingham City were counting on the support of Worcestershire and Herefordshire completely pulled out and the section beyond Great Witley was abandoned. Worcestershire only accepted after the event after placing thumb screws on CSM and a substantial alteration to the route.  If it had not been for late comer Staffordshire County who supported the event crossing into their county, then Velo Birmingham would have been substantially truncated in length.

When Worcestershire finally accepted the event in July and instigated the TTROs for the event, officers also agreed to further four years of support but Velo.  Politicians were to say uncertain about such a commitment and the five-year pledge was withdrawn.  Instead, they have instigated the review to include inputs from the largely hostile parish councils, businesses both supportive and opposed to Velo, local councillors and citizens.  The Tories have been leafleting households asking for ‘views’ but it was clear which way they were angling.   Informed sources tell me that it is 50/50 that Worcestershire will agree to Velo Midland at the end of next September. Most of the parishes have rejected the event outright and a couple have been very supportive. 

Staffordshire County meanwhile are more sanguine about Velo in 2018, though I have seen elsewhere that South Staffs District are opposed along with local MP and parishes.  The opposing groups are hoping for a Worcestershire rejection to bolster their case against Staffordshire County.  Staffs CC may choose to ignore parishes but will find it difficult to ignore MP and district councils input. 

An announcement from Worcestershire is imminent.  If they reject the event what happens thereafter is open to speculation.  If they say ‘yes’ it is probable that the Velo Midland event will be subject to very tough conditions, probably financial and with route alterations.

 

 

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I have to say you really are a bitter little NIMBY aren't you ?

The event was fantastic and both for the local communities who got into the spirit (yes Bewdley, Kniver and even Belbroughton were magnificent support) and unlike the scare stories put about by people like you no one died, no emergencies etc. You on this forum should be fully supporting an event that showed people from all over the country some great places to visit and cycle in.

Shame on you.

Ps. I will not be doing it in 2018 as I have already booked for another event.

Ian, I think you misunderstand. This is merely a report on the latest situation regarding the local authorities and their current stage of decision making.  I had many misgivings prior to Velo Birmingham 2017, in particular the road closing schedule along certain parts of the route but CSM and Worcs CC resolved those particular problems and shaved off some unnecessary times to the closure plus they also improved access.  However, the councils are still an issue, which was the point above. It is worth saying that Clent and a small number of other parishes have pledged support.  True I was extremely unhappy with CSM's initial approach to the road closures, etc, but they did work to resolve those issues.  

My views are fairly on-the-fence at the current period  although it is no secret that I was opposed to the event prior to CSM making changes. So no, I am not bitter but I am interested in an academic sense, especially the politics around supporting or opposing the event, which is why I posted about the latest situation on the decision making authorities. 

Incidentally, the date has not been announced yet, so you may still be able to enter.

I apologise Phillip, if there is nothing that winds me up more are Nimby's. You mention the MP, that is Gavin Williamson and look what he did in politics ... sure the Velo organisers could do things better but I hope the councils do not pander to Nimby's because despite the signs in Bellbroughton the views of everyone out was very very POSITIVE

Oh I entered a 24 hour ride around Brands Hatch for the 15th September so will wait to see the date but if the week after not likely.

Ian, if it coincides with the NEC Cycle Show, then the most likely date is 30th September.

ian robathan said:

I apologise Phillip, if there is nothing that winds me up more are Nimby's. You mention the MP, that is Gavin Williamson and look what he did in politics ... sure the Velo organisers could do things better but I hope the councils do not pander to Nimby's because despite the signs in Bellbroughton the views of everyone out was very very POSITIV

Oh I entered a 24 hour ride around Brands Hatch for the 15th September so will wait to see the date but if the week after not likely.

I'm looking forward to it. The 2017 event was far from perfect, but it was pretty much unmissable.

If Hereford and Worcs want to piss about, I say "screw them - go north/east“.

Staffs, Derbyshire and Leics may not be so utterly myopic as Hereford & Worcs.

I'm also looking forward to next year's ride. In view of the importance of cycling in the WMCA's devolution, transport, health, congestion, air quality plans etc I'd plan a route that brought in Coventry and Solihull and centred on the NEC. That would enable a less challenging and flat 50 miler to be incorporated alongside a challenging 100. Non-constituent authorities could then join in if they wanted to. Either way having done Ride London Surrey twice I really like having a more engaging closed road event locally without the hassle of travelling to London and a night or two in Barking.

Dave, I agree with you on the NEC.  Before the Velo route was announced, I always assumed that the NEC would be a natural starting location given the ease of car parking, hotel accommodation, rail-links, airport and accommodation to house a HQ. As the Cycle Show was hosted on the same weekend then an NEC start would have made that location a 'no-brainer', but the contract was with Birmingham City and the NEC is located in Solihull.  

I mused on the idea of Velo Midland and concluded that the name could have been driven by a relocation to the NEC. However, I am informed that it may be connected to the discomfort of people wondering why a Birmingham event was being 'imposed' on communities outside of the City. 

Given the chance of Worcestershire of saying yes is 50/50 then it could still head south. 

Disagree Dave about making it easier, the route was pretty well perfect for all ranges and people like the challenges of a climb. Problem with that part of the world around North Warwickshire etc is it is pretty boring areas  to be honest.

Got to be honest the best reception by far was in Bewdley as we swept down and into the town ... WCC would be mad not to look at that and think it was a great success.

Latest news: provisionally 16th September. 

so it did clash with my other event, siggghhh 

interesting still no final date announced and a lot of people are querying why ? 

I presume making sure when announced the final route will not change ?

Ian, in answer to your question:

A decision will be made by Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet on 8th February on whether to support the application for Traffic Regulation Orders.  If they decline, the event could still go ahead theoretically but without the road closure though I would imagine that as unlikely.  Authorisation is quite likely but with conditions placed within the orders on periods of closure, junction controls, sufficient marshaling, etc.  

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