A Change in Direction on the A38 and the A34

On Monday Push Bikes campaigners inspected plans for a cycleway on the A38. We were very pleased to see a high quality, reasonably wide, two way cycle track running from Selly Oak to the ring road. Push Bikes has long been asking the Birmingham Cycle Revolution team to aim high and go for quality rather than length, and they took that on board earlier in the year and have been working on new plans. There are existing plans to complete the route through to the city centre, but with the switch to quality these have sent back to the drawing board. There are also plans for a second high quality route on the A34, but we have yet to see the details.

The track will be a proper cycle track, not shared use, and it will be segregated. It will be constructed from brand new, machine laid bitmac. It will have priority over minor roads, and much engineering thought has gone into traffic light phasing and junction redesign to ensure reasonably rapid, and safe progress through controlled junctions. Bus stops will be on floating islands as far as possible, though one bus stop is problematic.

The BCR design will also improve safety for motorists and pedestrians. It includes some well thought out modifications to the junction with Priory Road (existing junction depicted) that will allow the addition of controlled crossings for pedestrians.

Where the A38 is dualled, the cycle track will switch to central reservation. There has been much attention to detail to ensure the cycleway crosses the carriageway smoothly and without unreasonable delay. And yes, you will be able to get back to the edge without cycling the entire length of the dual carriageway.

The timescale is short, so we hope to see a consultation in the New Year, and construction in 2017.

Now the BCR team has come up with this great design, pressure will shortly be on councillors to support it. If they don't, the CCAG money will have to be returned, and the city council will be a laughing stock, having failed yet again. If it goes ahead, Birmingham will have something to be proud of, something that we will bring it positive attention from around the country.