VIDEO: What do cyclists do at traffic junctions for their safety?

Chris Lowe, a cyclist from the campaign group Push Bikes, explained to Brum Transport the problems cyclists face at traffic junctions while trying to cross the streets.

In the video here, Chris is at a traffic junction Great Charles Street Queensway. He crosses this junction everyday on his way to work.

He says,

“We either have to learn to cycle in traffic or get off the bike and push it across the street – and neither of them is the best solution. We want a solution that makes a cyclist feel safe.”

Chris feels the £24m grants that were recently announced for Birmingham as a part of the cycle city ambition bid need to focus on buidling cycling infrastructure around traffic junctions.

Earlier on Brum Transport: AUDIO – Mum stops traffic in Kings Heath to make streets safer for cyclists.

Soon to follow: Graham Lennard from the Birmingham City Council on what are the next steps with the £24m cycling funds. 

AUDIO: Mum stops traffic in Kings Heath to make streets safer for cyclists

Protest for Hope

Demanding stronger action against careless drivers, Nazan Fennell has decided continue her campaign for making streets safer for cyclists.

Last weekend what started as a memorial bike ride turned into a protest, and led to tailbacks of vehicles on the Kings Heath High Street, after she heard a first hand account of her daughter’s accident.

Nazan lost her 13 year old daughter Hope in November 2011 to an accident on the Kings Heath High Street.

Hope was on her way back from school and was trying to cross the street on her bike, when she was trapped under the wheels of an 18 ton lorry.

Talking about the protest held in Kings Heath last Saturday, she said,

“I had never heard a first hand account of last few minutes of my daughter’s life. That’s when I sat down on the street”

In a conversation with Brum Transport, she further explains:

Nazan Fennell is running the ‘Live in Hope’ campaign to push for proximity sensors to be made mandatory for heavy goods vehicles so that drivers can deal with blind spots better.

Earlier on Brum Transport: Will cyclists be at a greater risk if DfT allows longer lorries on streets?

Soon to follow: Cyclist Chris Lowe explains the problems cyclists face while trying to cross a traffic junction and why investments from £24m funds for cycling should also be made to deal with this problem.

VIDEO: Birmingham entrepreneur kayaks to work

To get away from noisy streets and enjoy the canals, Mike Bandar, a 23 year old entrepreneur from Birmingham now kayaks to work every day.

Mike began kayaking as a 30 day challenge, but now plans to continue for as long as possible.

Describing his commute to work he says it  is probably one of the best ways to travel in the city and utilise the vast canal network.

“Initially I was nervous I would flip over and fall into the water, but now I seem to be doing fine. I really enjoy my journey to work and the tranquillity of the water”

Every day he kayaks from his house in the Jewellery Quarters to his office in the Birmingham Science Park and has been able to cut down his journey time significantly.

 

AUDIO: Will cyclists be at greater risks if DfT allows longer lorries on city roads?

Lorries causing chaos

The Department for Transport (DfT) might soon allow lorries longer by about 1.0 – 2.5m on urban road networks.

While the DfT claims that these will not pose any greater risks than the already existing 13.6m long lorries, these claims have been contested by various experts and advisory groups.

Martin Sachs, honorary secretary, Technical Advisory Group, said, in an interview to Brum Transport that vulnerable road users like cyclists are likely to be at greater risks.

“The longer lorries will have an increased tail swing of the vehicles, and drivers will be completely unaware of having knocked off cyclists”

More from him in this interview below:

Soon to follow: Mum holds up traffic in Kings Heath in memory of daughter’s cycling accident

Brum Transport shortlisted for Guardian student media awards 2013

For the student digital journalist of the year category, Brum Transport has made it to the top 5 of the Guardian student media awards 2013 shortlist.

Guardian student media awards shortlist 2013

The winners will be announced on 27 November. More than 800 entries were received by The Guardian this year.

The full shortlist for the 35th annual Guardian Student Media awards has only two students from Birmingham this year, including student data journalist Cristian Giulietti, also from Birmingham City University.

 

‘New shop old charm’ – Brum Transport in the Moseley B13 Magazine

September, 2013

Replacing the nearly 80 year old Woodbridge Hardware store, Moseley Mechanix is the new bike repairs shop in the area.

Sean Durrant – a cyclist and a bike mechanic for more than 25 years now, says he will:

 “…change as little as possible from what is left of the old Woodbridge Hardware store.”

Alongside the various bike frames and a vintage scooter, he has already put up a few of his art works as well on his shop window.

The story was published in the September, 2103 issue of the Moseley B13 magazine.

#phantombuses: How real are the Real Time Information screen announcements at bus stops?

While public transport authority Centro have said there are over 600 bus stops in Birmingham with Real Time Information (RTI) screens, information is not available on how many of them are functioning.

To find out more about the state of maintenance of these screens, recently Brum Transport tried out #phantombuses  – a crowd sourced experiment at gathering real time data on bus stops in the city.

We liveblogged our observations from these four different locations in the city:

These included:

  • Arrival times announced on the RTI screens

 

  • Mysterious disappearances of the bus numbers from the screens

 

  • Time when buses actually turned up at the stops

 

  • Faulty RTI screens at bus stops:

While some of these bus stops had the RTI screens, other bus users relied on the Network West Midlands phone app, some others had only the paper timetable at the bus stops to refer to.

The data on the number of bus stops was revealed through a freedom of information (FOI) request filed earlier by Brum Transport.

(The FOI figures here referring to ‘Birmingham’ include the city centre and the wider Birmingham area.)

Airport Expansion – Edinburgh sense contrasts with Birmingham nonsense!

By Howard Wheeldon

Independent aerospace analyst

Howard Wheeldon

Plans by Edinburgh Airport to spend £150m on the international hub’s terminal buildings will be very much welcomed by regular users of this otherwise well located Scottish airport.

But can the same be said of the Birmingham Airport?

Recently a controversial plans valued at an estimated £7bn was announced, based on the requirement of expanding airport passenger handling capacity from a current annual 9 million passengers to 70 million by 2030.

Is the location the right one?

I am not against regional airport expansion and development.

But whether Britain’s now seventh largest airport (which happens through a mistake of history to be located on what I will personally regard as a bad site for an airport) can justify such high levels of expansion at the existing airport location must surely be open to much doubt.

With the main London-Euston rail line at Birmingham Airport’s eastern boundary, the main A-45 trunk road running along part of the western boundary, substantial housing to the north and ‘green belt’ to the west, the Birmingham Airport location is completely hemmed in.

Birmingham Airport authorities are currently engaged extending the main runway by 405 metres in length to 3,003 metres. This investment is more than justified in my view.

Whatever happens in the future in terms of long term development, we can be certain that it will be years yet before plans on the scale submitted to the Davies Commission would be affordable, let alone accepted as desirable and maybe eventually achievable.

Do we need a 2nd runway?

If Birmingham Airport has got this far so brilliantly should it now be thinking of further expansion that includes, when and if demand is proven, the building of an additional runway by 2030?

A few years ago I guess that I would have suggested that further developing Birmingham Airport on the existing site at Elmdon would have been ridiculous given the road, rail and housing restrictions.

But today I suspect that I could at least learn to cope with a limited amount of further site expansion provided of course that existing transport infrastructure could be enticed into tunnels.

Increase in passenger capacity

As a regional airport, Birmingham Air port has a great future.

But to imagine that this airport will handle almost eight times the number of current passengers carried per year, and maybe three times the number of flights, is to me cloud cuckoo land stuff that smacks not only of arrogance and empire building but also of wasting precious resource.

Yes, Birmingham does have a big place in air transportation but it can be no competitor airport to those in London and the South East.

Neither in my view can or should it be allowed to attempt to make itself into the size of Manchester airport for no good reason or indeed, to out compete other regional airports such as Coventry and East Midlands.

Brum Transport had earlier interviewed Howard Wheeldon after a consultation with local residents was held in Coleshill. 

The liveblog from Coleshill consultation has more details. 

 

VIDEO: First impression of the tunnels after the reopening

Passing through the Queensway tunnels after its reopening, Ruth Duggal of Shuut Films captured her first impression of the refurbishment works:

Birmingham Queensway Tunnel Sept 2, 2013 from shuutfilms on Vimeo.

In a comment to Brum Transport, later, Ruth said the tunnels look much brighter now:

Soon to follow: More from Ruth and other commuters on her travel during the tunnel closures and after the reopening.

Traffic held up in Sutton Coldfield after accident

An accident on Saturday afternoon held up traffic for over an hour at A452, Sutton Coldfield on Chester Road North.

Roads were closed between  the Roylesden Cresent junction and the Monmouth drive junction.

While details of the accident are not available yet, commuters and residents of the area said a car collided into a road divider and flipped over.

The incident took place between 3:00-4:00pm. According to local shop owners around the area, two ambulances and a fire service vehicle reached the accident spot soon after.

Traffic held up due to raod accident

Comments from commuters and residents of the area

Gurjit Gill, a local shop owner on Chester Road North said:

Adelle Burns, a resident of Chester Road said:

The incident, reported elsewhere by the local media:

BBC local live sutton coldfield accident