Quality over quantity as Birmingham pursues ‘cycle revolution’
Birmingham City Council has announced that it will spend more than £11m to create two ‘higher quality’ cycle routes in the city as part of the next phase of its ‘cycle revolution’.
Announced in December, the council will now focus on developing segregated cycle routes along two of the city’s most important commuter corridors – the A38 between Birmingham city centre and Selly Oak, and the A34 between the city centre and Perry Barr.
The announcement has been welcomed by cycling charities, including Cycling UK, who says these ‘safe and convenient routes’ will encourage more people to cycle.
The council says it has listened to feedback from cyclists regarding its work to date on the Birmingham Cycle Revolution, and is now looking to create routes which keep cyclists completely segregated from other traffic, as opposed to relying on ‘painted lines and signage’.
The DfT is funding the new all-weather, two-way cycle paths. A further £1.4m will be spent on infrastructure to join the two routes through the city centre, establishing a continuous north-south cycle highway.
Construction work is scheduled to start later this year after detailed consultation with communities and stakeholders, with completion due by the end of 2018.
Cllr Stewart Stacey, cabinet member for transport and roads, said: “We have listened carefully to feedback from cyclists regarding the work we have done so far on Birmingham Cycle Revolution and will now be focusing on the development of two higher quality segregated routes which will better meet the needs and expectations of existing and future cyclists.
“This means that rather than focusing on schemes which rely primarily on painted lines and signage, we are now looking at the creation of routes which will enable cyclists to use our roads while completely segregated from other traffic, which will be safer, as well as making for a more enjoyable cycling experience.
“The DfT, which has provided funding for BCR, has agreed to this new focus.
David Cox, chair of Cycling UK, said: “These safe and convenient routes will encourage more people to cycle as an attractive alternative to driving on congested roads or using crowded public transport.
“They will be a real advance for the city’s infrastructure and set standards for the West Midlands Cycle Charter.”
Photo: Birmingham Cycle Revolution.
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