Sat, 17/03/2018 – 11:07
It seems odd to ask what the problem with a bus gate is – cycles can use bus gates, and anything that helps improve public transport should be good, right? But in this case, the bus gate cuts across a Birmingham Cycle Revolution (BCR) cycle route and breaks West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) policy. Because of this, I want you to email consultationviews now and tell them that you object to the Bath Row bus gate plans because the plans ignore the cycle route (also tell them that you want a contra-flow cycle lane on Cambridge Street and better pedestrian crossing facilities on St Vincent Street while you are at it).
Don’t delay – the consultation finishes on the 21st March 2018!
Why are the plans so bad?
Good quality cycle routes should give the same kind of continuity that we enjoy on the roads – if cycle routes include too many stops, then we won’t choose to cycle on them, and will use the road instead. In these plans, someone on a cycle would have to dismount and wait at 3 crossings – compared to staying on their bike and having only 1 traffic light if they stay on the Middleway. The crossings are designed for pedestrians, so they are not wide enough and have too many sharp turns for cycles even if they were converted to toucan crossings. Infrastructure like this is worse than nothing, because many people will still choose to cycle on the road, and then they will risk abuse for not being on the ‘cycle route’.
What does Push Bikes want?
We want a cycle track that goes directly across the mouth of Bath Row, with no tight turns, that will join up later with the other parts of this cycle route when they are built. This is the most direct route from Five Ways to Bristol Street and will form an important link in Birmingham’s cycle route network. The cycle track should have only a maximum of two traffic lights – there is absolutely no reason for cars to exit Bath Row onto the Middleway when they can use Wheeleys Lane instead.