AUDIO: ‘6yr olds should be able to cycle safely’

Almost 70 % of people in Britain would support greater cycling route provisions in their local area, results of a YouGov survey show.

YouGov

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) revealed these figures at the start of their Family Safety Week.

The poll involved 2,169 people participating online. 58% of them said they never cycle.

Nazan Fennell, leading the Live in Hope campaign in Birmingham has urged families to demand for safer cycling infrastructure in the city:

“After Hope’s accident I realised that things could be done to prevent these fatalities. We need to make our roads safer for vulnerable users”

 

13 year old Hope Fennell was knocked off her bike by a lorry and killed in 2011 in Kings Heath.

 

RoSPa launched the campaign at the Queensbridge school, where Hope was a pupil, and a national cycling survey to collect data from cyclists, non-cyclists and would-have-been cyclist.

More details on the YouGov survey are available at Bike Boom by Carlton Reid.  

very unsafeUPDATE: This post has been updated, after it was pointed out to us that 15% of the respondents of the poll said their local roads are ‘very’ unsafe.

 

FARE HIKE: 2.5% increase in rail ticket prices

In this new year, rail passengers will pay 2.5 per cent more on tickets.
This includes regulated fares like season tickets, with average rise in fares of about 2.2 per cent.

fare hike During his visit today at the Birmingham New Street station, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

“The work at Birmingham New Street is truly impressive and will make a real difference to passengers when it completes later this year. As we invest in projects like this, it is important that we recognise passengers’ concerns about the cost of rail fares. This is why we have frozen them for the second year in a row.”

His visit today was followed by a major signalling problems at the New Street Station leading to disruption in services earlier this morning. Delays were seen till 3pm and some replacement services were provided earlier in the day.

However, passengers reported delays and other problems till late this afternoon.

Unions and passenger groups have protested the hikes, comparing them to a corresponding lack of rise in wages.

Campaign for Better Transport have this interactive Fare v Wage calculator on their website :

fares v wages

While this 2.2 per cent is the lowest increase in the last 5 years, they have said passengers will struggle to get to work without substantial increase in salaries.

‘A go-anywhere transport system’, Birmingham Connected discussed at council meeting

by Ion Mates

Transport in Birmingham was the main issue in a meeting at Birmingham City Council.

Birmingham Connected was discussed recently by the Economy and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Anne Shaw, Head of Transportation Services, presented the progress.

More details on the scheme are available under the Birmingham Connected Whitepaper, outlining a 20 year transport strategy for the city.

The session continued with a private agenda.

This post was originally published on Birmingham Eastside.

 

2 Brum-London trains among top 10 most crowded

Two of the 10 most overcrowded trains in England and Wales are on the Birmingham New Street-London Euston lines.

The 20:17 and 20:03 trains were the most over crowded trains, spring 2013 data from the Department for Transport has revealed.

Main findings of the report for Birmingham said:

  • On an average 39,000 passengers arrive into Central Birmingham during the morning peak hours, the highest outside of London.
  • At the trains busiest points, 9.0% passengers were standing during the morning peak hours and 8.5% during the afternoon peak hours.

Passenger numbers have increased since 2012, when disruption of the London Midlands services had led to a reduced demand.

Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in England and Wales in 2013

Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in England and Wales in 2013. SOURCE: Department for Transport

AM peak arrivals is the number of passengers arriving into the city centre by national rail on a typical autumn weekday during the three hour morning peak (7 – 10am). 

Peak PiXC is the percentage of passengers in excess of capacity (PiXC) across the morning and evening peaks on a typical autumn weekday. It is the main measure of crowding in these statistics. A higher PiXCpercentage represents a worse crowding level.

#BrumTunnels reopen after 6 weeks

The A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels reopened early morning after refurbishment works for 6 weeks over the summers.

Overnight closures will still be place for the rest of the month.

Works done this year

As explained by Alex Franklin, assistant project manager:

“This year’s work is more technically detailed from a mechanical and electrical point of view”

 

Ventilation

New ventilation systems and wayfarer signs (indicating emergency exit direction and distance). PHOTO CREDITS: @brumtunnels

Here’s a list of the works done this year

  • 27 PA speakers
  • 21 CCTV cameras
  • 32 vehicle detection cameras
  • 48 emergency phones
  • 4 digital variable message signs
  • Over 160 emergency way-finder signs
  • 7 controlled evacuation doors
  • Over 40 miles of electrical cabling needed to run the new systems

 More news on the tunnels elsewhere today:

More here on the tunnels from last summer.

Lorry accident in Brownhills in the 1970s – can anyone help?

brownhills logoReblogged from BrownhillBob’s Brownhills Blog.

For more on the ‘Life in the northern wastes of Walsall’, he’s on Twitter: @BrownhillsBob

Thankfully, serious accidents in Brownhills have been relatively infrequent, and so much so as to make them notable when they occur – which is why reader Brian Holmes has piqued my interest with this enquiry which reached me via Facebook this week.

Lorry accident in the 1970s

Traffic accidents are a sad fact of life – like this 1936 one, in which the driver had a lucky escape. Image from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

Brian Holmes asks:

Hi Bob

My pal in Liverpool assures me that he was in a breakdown truck that came to recover a lorry that was imbedded in the side of a pub in Brownhills in either late 60s early 70s.

If he’s correct then it must have been reported in the local press, could someone tell me which local paper,  apart from the Express and Star, covered Brownhills?

Many thanks
Brian

First up, in answer to Brian, the papers that covered the area at the time were the Express & Star, Walsall Observer and Lichfield Mercury, although the last one is very patchy. The archives of the Walsall Observer are available for that period for free inspection on microfiche at Walsall Local History Centre in Essex Street.

Secondly, I can’t recall this incident, but one would imagine it to have occurred at a pub either close to the road or at a junction. Suggestions so far have been The Crown on the A5Station Hotel (which was in the High Street where Aldi is now) or The Sportsman. I’m having a job visualising it being the latter, but anything is possible I guess.

Does anyone have any recollection of this event? If so, please comment here or drop me a line to BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

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: FOI reveals Birmingham 7th highest in car crimes in UK

Data based on a Freedom of Information (FOI) request filed by HONESTJOHN.CO.UK has revealed today that Birmingham has the 7th highest rate of car crimes in the country.

While the national average is 121 offences per 10,000 vehicles, Birmingham’s car crimes rates are 2.6 times higher the national average, with 313 offences recorded per 10,000 vehicles.

Brum Transport spoke to David Ross, news cars editor, Honest John to find out more about what car owners can do keep their cars safe and reduce insurance premiums.

A press release from Honest.John.co.uk has clarified that the West Midlands police statistics do not include details of whether a vehicle was registered to a Birmingham postcode. It also does not give details of the type of car crime.

More details on vehicle crimes in the West Midlands can also be obtained from police.uk

Soon to follow: Audio interview with West Midlands police about measures being taken to reduce car crimes in the region. 

Birmingham one of the worst in the country for car crimes

Figures from the West Midlands Police show Birmingham is the 7th in a list of worst cities in the country for car crimes.

The data was released this morning by HONESTJOHN.CO.UK as a part of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request they filed with 42 police forces in the country.

Between October 2011 and September 2012, around 313 offences per 10,000 vehicles were reported in Central Birmingham. The national average is 121 offences per 10,000 vehicles.

Car crime hotspots in Birmingham

The city centre area of Birmingham is one of the hotspots for car break ins and other crimes with 1800 offences per 10,000 cars.

The West Midlands has a large number of car crime areas including Birmingham, Dudley and Wolverhampton. Central Coventry also has quite high crime rate with 434 offences recorded in its city centre.

Nationally, Manchester has the highest car crime rates, with figures at 505 crimes per 10,000 vehicles.

More details on the types of offences recorded, statistics from more than 40 police forces in the country are available on the HONEST JOHN crime segment

Soon to follow: Audio interview with David Ross, new cars editor, HONESTJOHN.CO.UK

Another round of #phantombuses due to traffic gridlock

A large number of commuters were left staring at bus stop Real Time Information screens and mobile phone apps as the traffic came to a grinding halt this afternoon.

About an hour later it was confirmed by the National Express twitter updates that there has been a gridlock in the city with the emergency landing of an air ambulance near the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

 

 

Despite repeated attempts, there were no comments or confirmation available from the West Midlands Ambulance Service press office on this. Here is what commuters said on twitter:  

Most of the tweets and pictures today afternoon were sent by Lois Stanley, a commuter who has been a part of the crowd sources #phantombuses initiative for two weeks now.