This is one of four cycle route consultations that Birmingham City Council are holding during November 2021. Most of these are to make permanent pop-up routes, but this route is completely new. The consultations all finish on 30th November 2021, and the link for this one is here. Please respond to it and make your opinion as a cycle user known (you can just say that you agree with Push Bikes' opinion), otherwise the council will just receive responses from entitled car drivers.
Overview of this Route
Work has started this month on a cycle track from Bristol Road, along Priory Road, over Pershore Road and ending at the entrance of Cannon Hill Park, funded partly through a road safety scheme after the death of Dr. Suzanna Bull at the Pershore Road junction. The scheme in this consultation would continue the cycle route from the entrance of Cannon Hill Park up to Moseley, providing a safe route for people in Moseley to reach the River Rea cycle route and the A38 cycle track beyond that. The route makes use of some quiet side roads that are part of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN), and provides a reasonably direct and convenient link.
The main issue with this route is at the Salisbury Road / Edgbaston Road junction, where the pavement is thought too narrow to maintain a segregated cycle track, so shared use pavements are proposed instead, and the angles for the crossings are around 90 degrees. The proposals will improve cycling conditions in this location, but people who are already confident cycling with general motor traffic may choose to not use the cycle infrastructure because of the inconvenience posed by the shared use pavements and several sharp angles. We have proposed a slight modification that we think will significantly improve this part of the design.
Overall, though, the scheme is welcome and will provide a useful link in the future cycle network, and the changes will also improve conditions for people walking in the area, through widened footpaths and more pedestrian crossings.
Cannon Hill Park Entrance
The driveway to the park is 'heritage' cobble stones, which are not particularly safe to cycle on. As the cycle track from Bristol Road is taking up a lane on the highway, we think that it would be best to continue with the cycle track on the outside of the pavement, on the tarmac surface, past the driveway, so that it reduces the need to cycle over the cobbles. Once past the driveway, the cycle track can then be taken behind the bus stop. The other alternative is to remove the cobbles, but we don’t know if there would be some opposition to that.
Russell Road Crossing
It is good that the carriageway will be narrowed here and the foot path widened. It would be best if the cycle track continued right up to the parallel crossing, with a mini zebra crossing (as will be used on Bradford Street) to take people walking across the cycle track where needed. Continuing the cycle track provides a clear legibility to the space, so that people who are walking and cycling understand where other people will be going and can navigate the space more safely.
On the corner of Edgbaston Road and Russell Road, we understand that there is a preference to not take out the mature tree. In this location, shared use pavement is perhaps unavoidable.
Edgbaston Road / Salisbury Road Junction
The section of shared use pavement approaching the new crossing, at 4.3 meters, is perhaps ok for this short stretch, but on the other side, 2.5 meters is a getting too narrow. On the positive side, the new pedestrian crossing and the pavement widening will make it more comfortable to walk in this area, but in the long run, this section of pavement may be too narrow if BCC manages to achieve its stated goals in increasing cycle traffic. We would suggest moving the crossing slightly closer to the cricket ground, as that would make less use of the narrow pavement on one side of the road in favour of better use of the two pavements either side of the tree on the other side, as shown right. It would also move the crossing further away from the junction, giving drivers fewer things to concentrate on as they negotiate this busy junction.
The residential area that Edgbaston Road runs through would benefit from becoming a Low Traffic Neighbourhood, and restricting motor traffic flow at this end of Edgbaston Road to one direction would provide extra pavement space connecting the two crossings, giving more space to be divided between people walking and cycling. That suggestion is outside the scope of this consultation, but would be a good improvement for future plans.
Being part of a Low Traffic Neighbourhood this is a quiet residential street, so it is appropriate that cycle users use the main carriageway along here.
We were surprised that a bidirectional segregated cycle track is suggested along this road, as it should be a quiet residential street with cycle users and motor vehicles using the same space. We’ve been told by the transport team that one of the thoughts they had was that a segregated cycle track might be attractive to parents with children accessing the primary school here, and we see the logic in that. Having spoken with other locals, it seems that there is a lot of parking here by non-residents who want to go to Moseley. The road is two-way, and with cars parked on both sides and with numerous potholes (which surely should be repaired), it can seem uncomfortable to cycle along and wouldn’t be felt safe to cycle on with children.
For us, the important thing is that Chantry Road should have a low level of motor traffic, with enough available width for people to cycle along there comfortably even if they mix with some cars. We are happy to see a bidirectional cycle track, as it would provide an increased level of comfort and attractiveness for families accessing the primary school, but we think using alternative measures might also produce the desired improvements in the street for cycling.
Other measures that might help would be a residents’ parking permit scheme to control parking or double yellow lines down one side of the street, a school street scheme to deal with school traffic, and potentially using a one-way scheme (with cycles exemption) at one end of Chantry Road to reduce motor traffic levels.
Because of the width constraints on Salisbury Road, we were told by the design team that it wouldn’t be possible to provide cycle tracks along there for both directions. We think that the Park Hill and Chantry Road route is a suitable alternative. We welcome the 20mph speed limit on Salisbury Road, to make it safer for those people who need and/or want to cycle along it, as well as people living there and walking along it. Reducing the speed limit should provide an increase in safety for all people using that road.
Alcester Road Junction
The scheme stops at the end of Chantry Road, with a note on the plans that there will be connections to a forthcoming "Moseley local centre" proposal. There will be a need to provide a safe and attractive connection across to Woodbridge Road from Chantry Road as well as connecting into the local centre here.