The early phases of Birmingham Cycle Revolution (BCR) have involved detailed engagement with a wide range of people and organisations including cycling representatives, local communities, transport organisations and city councillors.
Feedback received tells us that people need the extra feeling of security and comfort that fully segregated cycle lanes deliver, rather than simply relying on signage and painted lines. This local feedback is consistent with and reinforced by the experiences of other major UK cities with whom we are in regular contact. For example, Bristol, Leicester, Manchester and London are now also focused on developing fully segregated cycle paths as the way forward.
When will the new routes be built and how much will they cost?
The delivery of both routes is scheduled for 2017/18. Our current estimates are that the A38 Bristol Road route will cost £5.25 million and the A34 Birchfield Road route £6.1 million. However, we are still at an early stage of development and design and our detailed proposals will only be finalised after wider public and stakeholder engagement.
Will construction of the cycle routes generate further disruption for Birmingham’s travelling public?
Impact on the highways network was one of the criteria we looked at when choosing the routes. The construction programme will not impact significantly on traffic, including buses, using the A34 or A38. There is a potential loss of some trees but we are committed to replacing these locally.
Over the longer term, we believe that the new segregated cycle routes will play an important role in easing congestion on two of Birmingham’s busiest commuter routes, particularly during peak times.
What happens to all the other routes not selected for BCR’s next phase?
As part of the wider Birmingham Connected 20-year strategy for transport, BCR is designed as a phased programme of improving facilities across the city to make it more appealing for people to choose to cycle rather than travel by car. While we will not be proceeding with other routes in the next phase of BCR, we remain committed to delivering improvements across the city as and when funding becomes available.
We are also committed to making sure that cycle path improvements fit with other transport infrastructure developments. For example, we will investigate the feasibility of improving cycle access on the A45 Coventry Road corridor as part of the process of developing a Sprint bus route from the city centre towards the airport, in conjunction with Transport for West Midlands.
We believe that devolution of responsibilities to the West Midlands Combined Authority holds the potential to facilitate more investment in cycling infrastructure and that the initial evaluation work we have carried out for main commuter routes across Birmingham will help to deliver future programmes faster.
Has the amount of money BCR has to invest in cycling improvements been cut?
No. BCR has secured investment of £57.9 million so far. This is ring-fenced funding which has come from outside the council, including Government grant funding, and must be used to deliver these improvements. It cannot be allocated to other budgets within the council.
The total has not changed; how we propose to spend it has. The decision to focus the next phase of BCR on fully segregated main corridor routes means that we will be delivering higher levels of intervention at fewer locations.
However, alongside the main highway routes, we will be continuing to invest in smaller projects across the city and in improving cycling connectivity in and around the city centre itself.
Is BCR still on schedule?
BCR was always designed as a 20-year programme of activity because we realise that it takes significant time and energy to generate the level of change required.
In 2013, around 2% of all journeys made in Birmingham were by bike. That figure has now risen to around 3%.
We believe that BCR’s original targets of 5% of all journeys to be made by bike by 2023 and 10% of all journeys by 2033 remain realistic and achievable.
Where can I find out more information?
BCR has its own website at www.birmingham.gov.uk/bcr
BCR at a glance:
- 5% of all journeys in Birmingham to be made by bike by 2023
- 10% of all journeys in Birmingham to be made by bike by 2033
£57.9m total comprising:
- £39.1m Department for Transport Cycle City Ambition Grant
- £6m GBSLEP Local Growth Fund
- £12.8m local contribution (revenue and capital)
- More than 80km of off-road route and 45km of on-road infrastructure
- 3,400 cycles supplied through Big Birmingham Bikes
- 5 Brompton bike hire docks established
- 102 cycle stands in 40 locations
- More than £350,000 grants issued to more than 35 businesses and 25 schools to provide cycle infrastructure, shared pool bikes and equipment
- 20mph limit introduced in all or parts of Aston, Bordesley Green, Brandwood, Hodge Hill, Ladywood, Moseley and Kings Heath, Nechells, South Yardley, Sparkbrook, Springfield and Washwood Heath
- 20mph limit to be introduced in all or parts of Edgbaston, Selly Oak and Bournville
- 3% of all journeys in Birmingham made by bike in 2016 (up from 2% in 2013)
- 43% increase in cycle traffic across improved canal towpath routes
- 125,000 miles cycled by BBB users
- Two fully segregated cycle routes connecting city centre to Selly Oak (via A38 Bristol Road and city centre to Perry Barr (via A34 Birchfield Road)
- Completion of improvements to all canal towpaths within city boundaries and green routes through parks and open spaces
- Completion of improvements to Lichfield Road and Nechells Parkway main commuter routes
Five key numbers
- 250,000 car journeys of a mile or less made in Birmingham every day
- 150,000 more people living in Birmingham by 2031
- 10,000 more jobs in the city by 2031
- 80,000 more cars on Birmingham’s roads by 2031, making
- 200,000 more trips by road every day