Push Bikes objects to the plans as presented for the northern half of the former Birmingham Battery site (2020/09978/PA) because they downgrade rather than build upon the existing cycling infrastructure, and therefore the plans do not conform to the city council's Walking and Cycling and Active Travel Strategy or its Draft Transport Plan, which calls for "Prioritising active travel in local neighbourhoods". This should especially be the case at this location, which has been designated by the city council as a "Green Travel District" (GTD). In particular:
- Cyclists on the long-standing existing cycleway along Aston Webb Boulevard will now be expected to give way to and cross up to four lanes of traffic (two lanes in each direction) on the access road. This will be made particularly difficult and dangerous by the large radii of the turns for motor traffic, which will encourage that traffic to join and exit the access road at high speed. The similar junction geometry on the opposite side of the roundabout is already a problem for cyclists.
- There should be a formal crossing, either a parallel (zebra and cycle) crossing on a raised table (DfT Cycle Infrastructure Design document LTN 1/20 § 10.4.6, pictured in Figure 10.4) with the proposed island used as a refuge (LTN 1/20 § 10.4.7), or (less desirable from the point of view of prioritising active travel) a single stage toucan crossing (at the Sainsbury's Retail Park access road at the next junction on Aston Webb Boulevard toucan crossings are used, but in in a deprecated staggered multi-stage format).
- The existing cycleway should be brought up to the crossing.
- To improve safety the number of lanes on the access road should be reduced from four to two (one in each direction) and the radii tightened.
- There should be a cycleway linking the existing cycleways on the canal tow path and Aston Webb Boulevard, not just a footway linking the canal with a zebra crossing on the access road (the zebra crossing would in fact render it illegal to cycle this connection). At the Birmingham Cycle Revolution Stakeholder meetings hosted by the city council it was indicated very clearly that such a link would be part of this development on Aston Webb Boulevard.
- Since the boundary of the plan includes the existing cycleway on Aston Webb Boulevard, the opportunity should be taken to widen and improve it.
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