The top photo of cycle routes under Spaghetti Junction probably mirrors most outsiders’ perceptions of Birmingham. For those who have ventured forth from New Street station on two wheels, the experience is probably equally bleak. While there have been great improvements in the city centre (including removal of a section of dual carriageway), the outer areas remain very car-dominated.
However, Birmingham City Council is keen to improve provision for cycling, but realise that even by British standards the task is a tough one. One the first steps is to understand the patterns of cycling the city, and the council realised that it needed to improve the limited information it had on cycling levels. TI were appointed by the council to undertake a major study of cycle monitoring in the city. This was completed in late 2011 and the city is now looking to implement a new counter network with at least 40 automatic counters.
At the same time as the monitoring study, Birmingham was successful in its LSTF bid for the “Bike North Birmingham” project. The will is clearly there to improve conditions for cycling and now significant funding is also available.
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