Birmingham Connected bulletin - 3 September 2020

Cycle September, back to work and school, changes to the city centre and new e-scooter hire launched

Cycle September

This month, get out on your bike and win prizes with Love to Ride West Midlands. Why not encourage your friends and colleagues to join? You decide whether you will work as a team or compete to see who can do the most cycling!

If you need help getting in the saddle, there is lots of information available as part of Roll & Stroll, with support for individuals, workplaces, clubs and more. If you're planning a group cycling activity, Cycling UK have published helpful COVID-19 advice and guidance.

Looking for cycling events this month?

  • Join Cycling UK for the World's Biggest Bike Ride on Saturday 12 September
  • The Active Wellbeing Society are holding Cycle Fix-It sessions every Wednesday morning outside the Share Shack in Ladywood. Take your bike for basic repairs and also learn how to fix it yourself.
  • West Midlands Network are running Love Your Bike sessions at stations across the region, including at Selly Oak on 17 and 24 September.

This week is your last chance to apply for FREE cycle parking - don't wait any longer!

Back to work and school

With the return to school and some workplaces re-opening this month, the commute and school run will be different.

Where possible, and especially for the school run, walking, scooting and cycling are the best way to travel - they are good for the environment and keep you fit and COVID safe.

To help, we are creating pop-up cycle routes, reducing traffic in residential neighbourhoods and improving conditions near schools with the school streets programme. Many of these schemes are temporary trials, with the potential to be made more permanent later on. Our Commonplace website is updated regularly with details of these schemes, and you can make comments and let us know how the changes are working for you.

For those using public transport, operators of buses, trains and metro have been working hard to make sure there is capacity for you to travel safely and observe social distancing (remember your face covering).

Contact us for support with workplace and school travel plans.

City centre changes

If you are travelling into and around the city centre, you may notice some changes to arrangements for vehicles.

As part of the Emergency Birmingham Transport Plan, we are have been able to deliver some parts of the 'city centre segments' initiative as temporary, trial measures.

Through this initiative, the city centre will be divided into a number of segments or zones, with each area still accessible from the A4540 Middleway (ring road), but restrictions on movement from one segment to another in a private vehicle.

These changes are:

  • Restrictions to westbound movements through A4400 St Chads Queensway, including bus gates on St Chads Queensway and Colmore Circus Queensway (access for buses, taxis and cyclists only)
  • Restrictions to north–south movements along Camden Street, Sand Pits and Parade
  • Prohibiting access to Cecil Street, Lower Tower Street and Brearley Street from New Town Row (access to New Town Row will be maintained)
  • Restrictions to east–west movements along Bristol Street

You can see more details of these changes and leave your feedback on the Commonplace website.

In addition, a new (permanent) bus gate will allow only buses, taxis (Hackney carriages) and cyclists to use the section of Moor Street Queensway between Moor Street station and Carrs Lane.

E-scooter hire

From Thursday 10 September, you will be able to hire an e-scooter to get around town.

Members of the public with a full or provisional driving license will be able to hire e-scooters on-street within the operation zone for use on roads and cycle lanes within the trial area.

In Birmingham, the initial trial area will be within the city centre. From this, it will increase to a larger area of operation within the Ring road with expansion to the north and southwest of the city to encompass the ‘blue’ cycling routes connecting other key areas.

Read more about the e-scooter trial.

Perry Barr regeneration

As part of the Perry Barr Regeneration programme and highways improvement scheme, Birchfield Roundabout is being converted into a signalised crossroads. To enable the roadworks, the A34 underpass is now operating with one lane in each direction.

There are also overnight works on the A453 Aldridge Road: from Monday 7 to Friday 11 September there will be overnight closures (8pm to 6am) on A453 Aldridge Road northbound, with no right turn from Harrier Way on to the A453. Diversion routes will be in place.

Please continue to plan ahead, walk or cycle for shorter trips and use public transport or alternative driving routes if you need to travel to or through Perry Barr.

Pavement parking

The Department for Transport is consulting on options to tackle pavement parking, asking whether a change of legislation should occur.

Three options are proposed:

  • Improving the Traffic Regulation Order process, under which local authorities can already prohibit pavement parking.
  • A legislative change to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’.
  • A legislative change to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.

Consultation closes on 22 November.

Have your say

Emergency Active Travel Fund schemes – make comments at any time

Enhanced bus partnership – consultation closes 13 September

East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy – consultation closes 30 September

Review of the Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders – consultation closes 27 October

Birmingham parks survey – survey closes 8 November

Managing pavement parking – consultation closes 22 November

Dates for the diary

1 to 30 September – Cycle September with Love to Ride West Midlands

14 to 18 September – One Road, One Week police road safety enforcement campaign

22 September – World Car Free Day

8 October – Clean Air Day 2020

Article posted on 3 September 2020.

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