The Transport, Connectivity & Sustainability Scrutiny Committee at Birmingham City

Council. Scrutiny Committees are made up of Councillors from all the political parties in the


This Committee is looking at how the city can improve the role both canals and cycling play in

meeting Birmingham’s transport needs.

The key lines of enquiry relating to cycling we will be pursuing include:

1. How can we encourage cycling in the city that is efficient and safe, getting people from

A to B desirably and sustainably linking urban areas?

2. How can natural green corridors and walkways alongside road networks be best used to

create a city cycle and/or pedestrian network? How has this been developed in other


3. What are the resource implications of adapting current cycle routes and joining them


4. Which partners can help us to do this and what resources do we need?

5. Who is currently cycling? Who could be most easily encouraged into cycling? What are

the barriers and opportunities to uptake by more people and between more places?

They will also be considering how the canal network can be better utilised to complement

Birmingham’s transport offer.

Please send written responses to the Inquiry, on your views and experience on any of the above points, as well as any other comments you might wish to make to Baseema Begum (Research and

Policy Officer, Scrutiny Office on 0121 303 1668 or

 by 5th October 2012.

There will be an evidence gathering session on:

1300-1500 Friday 19th October The Council House, Birmingham

The session will take place in public .

If you have any queries please contact Baseema Begum.

Views: 2207

▶ Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

A review of the road space in Birmingham, measuring what is actually needed for moving the various types of traffic, and what the council has no obligation to maintain, used for parking, or simply the bits that stay white after a fresh light fall of snow.  Since these bits of road are not needed for moving traffic, the costs of fixing them are eliminated (50% of roads area is not needed to move traffic?)

I am going to compose a reply, and bury my frustration that the Council is only now getting round to asking these questions.

Thanks Dave and John. Dave this is a paradigm shift which appeals is there a source or reference that would make it easy for them to digest and use?

John yes its best to be positive and its critical that they get a good volume of constructive response!

Frustrating some of our infra-structure, poorly maintained cycle lanes and ASLs, dismount signs, lane ends, abandon hope junctions and crossings etc are  the archaelogical remains of half hearted policies or final fling of old thinking (Northfield and Selly Oak by-passes). However, the current administration have only been in since May and been willing to think about cycling from the start and some important changes began under the previous Coalition like the new Cycling Strategy, Connect 2, the successful LSTF bid, BNB, Bike Hubs at Leisure Centres. Lets build on this.


My experience of Health Overview and Scrutiny committee reports is that they are usually well researched, succinct and influential. It’s an important opportunity for the cycling community

wrote a list of actions needed.Stayed 90% positive.
headhunt the city engineer from Amsterdam or Copenhagen and give them unlimited powers.

In Sustrans Office back in 1985 we had a booklet from the German Governement – in German Stadtvehrker im Wandlung it included diagrams used in several Sustrans papers, showing for example that the dynamic envelope required for a vehicle moving at 30Kph is substantially smaller than that required for 50Kph and thus smaller lane widths and less expansive sweeping road junctions result, saving valuable urban land, and included the snowfall pictures to show how little of the actual tarmac surface was actually used at a junction.  At 20mph with junctions rearranged to present a merging rather than crossing of traffic flows, and promoting alternate priority for the queues, we might even be able to eliminate many sets of traffic signals, and actually having to stop, whatever vehicle we are riding or driving.  At 20mph you might also notice that the more agile pedestrians are able to ‘filter’ across moving traffic.  Throw in a ‘Magnusson’ rule for pedestrian priority “I’ve started crossing the road and you will let me finish” and we are moving in a right direction.

1. How can we encourage cycling in the city that is efficient and safe, getting people from

A to B desirably,QUICKLY WITH NO MASSIVE DETOURS and sustainably linking urban areas?


Please BCC don’t try and send all cyclists down canals. Not all of us want to use them

I like using the canals for getting about the main problem is once you clear the city boundary the tow paths deteriorate badly.


Will respond to this tot he address supplied but may as well vent my spleen here.

Tow paths, not wide enough, fly-tipping never cleared up, broken glass everywhere, drunks and dope heads use the area creating an intimedating atmosphere, tow-paths routed through some unpleasant areas.

Road ways riding, drivers never respect the cyclist, personal space violated by every vehicle, abuse from the boy racers, fumes, pot-holes.

Cycle path riding, make car parking on cycle paths a hangable offence, glass everywhere, make the cycle zone wider.

Make trains that have bike areas that the rail staff actually respect and value instead of making cyclists feel like third class citizens. Put better access in stations, not all of us are body builders and carrying a large bike up and down flights of stairs is hard work. Create a bus that can take a bike so that people without a car or access to trains can travel to an area where they might like to ride.

That’ll do for now.

1. The canal towpath route would be ideal for my daily commute, but the surfaces are not maintained, and turn into muddy puddles after rain.
Action – resurface canal towpaths.

2. On the roads, too many drivers drive faster than is safe for sharing roads with cyclists, and there is almost no enforcement of speed limits or other traffic regulations.
Action – 20mph speed limit on residential roads
– Police to prioritise road safety and dangerous drivers

The canal and waterways trust as it is now called feels that if they did massive maintenance on the towpaths the boating fraternity would complain. Basically  they don’t want to see money wasted on the towpaths and not spent on the canal waterways the council wont invest in cycling the canal and waterways trust don’t care so I guess its an uphill fight.

1.  One contact number/email address for reporting problems with any current cycle-paths.

2.  Regular inspection and were needed repair of cycle-paths (some places on the NCR5 if i am not careful I can get all three wheels off the ground)

3.  Were there is mixed use of the path then something other than a white line to separate the users

4. Find out the best practices from a city that is of the same sort of size and road network and find out how they have attracted more cyclists, no point in re-inventing the wheel

5. National Guidelines  are a just that guidelines, try and better them

▶ Reply to Discussion