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Following last year's change of direction by BCR (see our previous article), the formal consultation on the segregated cycle track along Bristol Road from the city centre to Selly Oak has been launched. This 4km stretch of high-quality segregated track is one of two that will be built this year and if they are completed successfully, they will demonstrate that Birmingham is able to deliver high quality space for cycling.
Birmingham City Council is consulting on changes to the highways on Hurst Street next to the Hippodrome, following a temporary arrangement that blocked motor traffic access from Hurst Street onto Smallbrook Queensway. Prior to the current temporary arrangement, Hurst Street carried a large volume of motor traffic through the city centre. That motor traffic flow has been mainly diverted away without making Birmingham city centre motor traffic seize up any more than it did before.
I started off writing this blog post as a discussion of the Snow Hill Public Realm Consultation - which I have left below - but I feel that branding this 'Colmore Row cross-city cycle route' is more apt. Birmingham city centre has long been criticised as impenetrable by cycle, with the routes that exist being convoluted and broken up by dismount signs.
The national government is holding a consultation on their draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). The intention of CWIS is that it will provide a framework for local councils to plan their cycling and walking networks and then apply for funding for delivering those networks. The only problem is that national government does not seem willing to provide the money to fund these networks.
Centro is consulting on a new tram route, to run from Bull Street to the Custard Factory in Digbeth. This route will connect the new HS2 Curzon Street Station and the coach station in Digbeth with Snow Hill and New Street stations. This will provide a useful link for public transport users between these stations, enabling people who can not walk the distance to make their connections without using taxis. This will benefit people with large or heavy luggage as well as people with disabilities or mobility impairments.
Birmingham City Council is consulting on the master plan for the city centre area around the current markets. This is the area from the edge of the Bull Ring, down to Rea Street, which runs parallel to the River Rea through Digbeth. Pershore Road and the Arcadian form one edge, while Digbeth High Street forms the other edge. This is a very substantial area for re-development and there will be big implications for cycling through the city centre.