Following a series of consultations earlier this year, Birmingham City Council has launched a new consultation for Sherlock Street aimed at improving bus times heading out of the city. The initial proposal was to remove the cycle lanes on the first part of Sherlock Street, to make space for a new bus lane. The strong response to that consultation has sent Birmingham City Council back to the drawing board, and instead they are proposing a bus gate to stop private motor traffic blocking the exit of Sherlock Street onto Belgrave Middleway. This will provide a significant improvement for bus travel times while not impacting on space for cycling.
The consultation is on Birmingham City Council's BeHeard website: Bus Priority Measures on Sherlock Street. The consultation closes on July 4th 2019.
Birmingham City Council have discussed these plans with us, and our understanding is that they will not have a significant impact on the surrounding traffic network. There will be some displacement of motor traffic, but the out-bound section of Sherlock Street has been closed for a couple of months for utilities work this year without the city centre grinding to a halt. Most of the motor traffic will be displaced onto Bristol Street, but with the increased use of bus gates and filtered permeability measures across the city centre, the overall volume of private motor traffic should reduce. The goal is to encourage more people to use public transport and cycling - something we strongly support.
At the moment, buses are getting stuck behind private motor traffic that is queuing to get onto the Belgrave Middleway. By removing most of that motor traffic, buses will get to the Middleway junction much faster, reducing delays. There is housing development going on on either side of Sherlock Street next to the Middleway, and private motor traffic exiting those developments will be able to use Sherlock Street in both directions, as the bus gate will be short and only cover a short section after Gooch Street. But the motor traffic from the housing developments will be much lower than the through motor-traffic.
The bus gate will be camera enforced, as will all the other new bus gates in the city centre, meaning that motor traffic will be unable to flout the rules and continue traveling down Sherlock Street.
Please do respond to the consultation in support of this proposal.