Avoid the Queues of cars and take the Quiet net.

This is a network of routes that have tolerable levels of motorised traffic.   It works by linking residential roads together using existing paths.   The technical name for this is filtered permeability, since such routes are impermeable to large vehicles, but permeable to cyclists and pedestrians.   Since the routes are not greatly useful to motorists, they are relatively car free.

In cyclophobic Britain, many of the routes here are forbidden to cyclists, but the inspiration from this came from cycling in Germany, where every path is shared use unless there's a really good reason for it not to be.   Contrary to what you might expect from the letters pages in certain British newspapers, pedestrians are not being killed and injured by reckless cyclists using footpaths, but what this arrangement does achieve is making cycling feel acceptably safe to a significant proportion of the population.   It also makes cycling practical, because there's a network of routes.   Of course Germany does have far more than this, but making a network like this legal would represent an easy start for the city council.   The Dutch also link residential roads with paths, but they never expect pedestrians and cyclists to share the same path.

The Q-Net map is being transferred from Google Maps to the mapping system on this website.

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Canal Diversion 4

This section is for people physically unable to use the steps at Somerset Road.

Mason Way is one way, but there is little traffic on it and so in practice it can be cycled contraflow with great care; be prepared to stop and give way.

Edgbaston Park Road can be nasty. Since you will only be on it for a short distance, use the pavement if you consider the motor traffic too dangerous (police guidance is that this is an acceptable reason for cycling on the pavement, but respect the absolute priority pedestrians have over you).

Canal Diversion 1

Use the pedestrian crossing at the end of the Dingle to make the right turn on to Bristol Road. Since this section of road was not closed when the Selly Oak new road was built, it remains busy with through motor traffic. Fortunately you will not have to make any unassisted turns.

Kings Heath 2

There is a controlled crossing at the end of Colmore Road to help you across Vicarage Road. Vicarage Road is more than wide enough for segregated cycling provision, but of course there is none.


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