A short bike lane in Birmingham has been dismissed as useless by a local campaign group as council looks to improve current facilities

Birmingham cycling campaign group ‘Push Bike’ have branded a six metre (20ft) path near Washwood Heath Road as “ridiculous.”

The criticism comes as the city aims to launch its new ‘Birmingham Cycle Revolution’ scheme, a £23m government backed scheme that aims to improve cycle paths and facilities for local riders.

The local council’s aim is to have fiver per cent of all trips around the city made by bike by 2023 and to have double that figure within the following 10 years.

The six metre cycle lane is not particularly new, but has been used by Push Bike chairman, Chris Lowe, to point out the lack of consultation previously instigated by the council over cycling facilities, which he says resulted in the “useless” bike lane.

Lowe told the Birmingham Mail: “There was little consideration when these cycle paths were put in years ago and many of these were pretty useless.”

“There used to be a total lack of consideration and, at times, contempt for cyclists,” he added.

A local cyclist , who also spoke to the Mail, said that “you couldn’t cycle in it [the cycle lane] because it’s so small. You just have time to get in the saddle before getting off again.”

The  Department for Transport have already earmarked £17m for the new scheme to improve cycling facilities, while the local government will be pledging £6.3m investment into the project.

A Birmingham City Council spokesman responded to Push Bike’s comments by saying that the scheme will join “up gaps in the existing cycle network” and will provide safe and easy local access to off-road cycle routes.”

The proposals are still currently open for consultation.

  • Battered!

    Speaking as someone still recovering from a hit&run driver who hit me from behind, the ONLY SAFE BIKE LANE is one that is completly segregated by a solid protection, like posts or a concrete barrier. No matter how much paint and pictures they put on the roads drivers will never give other users room.

  • Simon Daw

    Haze – The lights are for a pedestrian crossing, so encouraging riders to skip off the road and onto the path (if indeed that were the highway engineers’ plan, which I doubt!) would hardly be commendable.
    Furthermore, riders heading towards the photographer would need to cut across two lanes of traffic to do so (and back again immediately afterwards, in front of traffic that’s just going to have started moving…), and riders heading away from the photographer would still need to jump the lights, because the cycle path starts after them!
    I think your assessment of this “scheme” is wildly generous, frankly.

  • Haze

    It’s difficult to tell from the picture, but it looks like the path may serve to allow cyclists turning left to bypass the traffic lights – so not entirely pointless. Although what the purpose of the lane going the other way is supposed to be I can’t imagine!