Widening of the Moseley Road

11/10/2019 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Cycling, Green Spaces, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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Widening of the Moseley Road through Balsall Heath is proposed by Birmingham City Council and Transport for WM, so as to make four lanes of traffic. This is to allow bus lanes in both directions, so as to reduce delays to buses in peak periods.

The scheme requires narrowing of foot ways and loss of some mature trees. Other measures include different crossing points for pedestrians, moving of bus stops and changes to permitted parking.

Deadline for public consultation is 8th November. All the documents are on online at Beheard https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/alcester-road-bus/

Your opportunities to learn more…

  • Tuesday 15th October 5.30 to 7.00pm, a display of the full plans and opportunity to question to the council officers responsible Chamberlain Health & Fitness Centre, 1 Belgrave Road, B12 9FF.
  • Tuesday 22 October 6pm to 7-30pm, an evening public meeting to look at and discuss with neighbours the plans at The Gap at the Old Print Works opposite Baths (with café)
  • Thursday 24th October 2pm to 5pm, display of the full plans and opportunity to question to the officers responsible, held at Balsall Heath Library 497 Moseley Road, B12 9BX.

This is an important discussion, so hope to see you at one of the events and to make your views and suggestions known. John Newson, Balsall Heath Is Our Planet

Bh Footway


Moseley Road Garden

30/08/2019 at 8:15 pm | Posted in Gardens, Green Spaces, Streets | Leave a comment

We have completed another phase of the gardening of Moseley Road.  This aims to transform a run-down traffic corridor, lined with parked cars, into an attractive place to walk, sit and converse at the centre of Balsall Heath. Plants and flowers are slowly making it into a welcoming place to be.

For this phase, we had the help of BH City Farm with Hywel and the team from Community Payback to move a number of derelict planters and soil. They were then painted , and are now planted up, using late summer flowering plants with bulbs ready for next spring. Effectively, we have extended the earlier Bee Garden. A space in front of the Old Print Works has become two outdoor “rooms”. Staff from the Mix Community Cafe were quick to set up their tables and chairs and welcome customers. Jeremy, who lives in the Print works, and I were quite weary by this time, but ready for some refreshment, pavement cafe style.

In future, BHIOP will encourage other properties to extend the garden along more of the road, so as to connect with the Pocket Park. Thank you to all the passers by for all their appreciative comments  !                       John Newson



My Backyard Farm

27/08/2019 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Food, Gardens, Green Spaces | Leave a comment

How to get fresh food without even going to the shop ? This summer I have expanded the growing space in my concrete backyard in Balsall Heath, with two large containers full of compost that I made from my garden and kitchen waste. Water in a rain butt is filled up from the gutters.

Crops that I have picked include; lettuce, tomatoes, broad and runner beans, mangetout peas, carrots, courgettes, cucumber, leeks, potatoes, rhubarb, mint, strawberries, rocket and chard. Just pick what i want that day. It is a pleasure not a chore, which others are doing in the area. I know because we swap surpluses and ideas. A standard allotment is too large for most people, but the opportunity for 10 minute growing, outside the back door, is there for many more of us.                      John Newson bhiop[at]jericho.org.uk






Better Parks Please

02/07/2019 at 11:55 am | Posted in Green Spaces, Walking, Wildlife | Leave a comment

What are the main problems in the parks and green spaces of Balsall Heath?  What changes would make them more attractive and useful for everyone ?

These are questions that BHIOP is looking at in 2019 and 2020. We have received a small grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to involve local people in finding some answers. I have been appointed as Project Officer John Newson bhiop[at]jericho.org.uk

I hope to meet you at the Commonwealth Carnival in Pickwick Park, St Paul’s Road, on Saturday 6th July from 1 pm to 4.30 pm. We shall collect people’s ideas, using a simple survey about “Better Parks Please”..

BigLottery logo


Path beside the River Rea

Cyclists take over town

09/06/2019 at 6:55 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets | 1 Comment

Birmingham City Centre was filled with thousands of cyclists, as streets were closed off for us on 9th June for the Let’s Ride event. At least two group rides went in from Balsall Heath, following the Rea Valley Route. We found the Queensway,  usually filled with noise and fumes, to be quiet and family-friendly. Children of all ages were happily riding alongside their parents. Maybe it should be like this every Sunday, as in some other European cities ??

It was also the official opening of the blue cycle path along the Bristol Road from the University into town.  It is amazing… and again not like the Birmingham we have known, with this main road offering cyclists a protected ride every day.

We were told that long promised cycle stands for our area are definitely on the way. Also that Birmingham’s Walking and Cycling Strategy.is about to launch with its consultation, asking for your comments on more routes to come. You can sign up for updates from the Birmingham Connected  mailing list: connected@birmingham.gov.uk



Balsall Heath Neighbourhood Plan

01/06/2019 at 9:00 am | Posted in Green Spaces, Streets, Train station, Walking | Leave a comment

We have put up a display in the library for people to learn more about the Neighbourhood Plan. It runs through June.

You can see designs to improve the streets for pedestrians, re-open the station and make better use of the green spaces. It was all based on extensive public consultation, but comments sheets are there for you to add your own ideas for the future of the area.

The library is next to the Baths. Exhibition is free during library opening hours




Plant and Play in the Park

23/05/2019 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Cycling, Green Spaces | Leave a comment

Everyone is invited to some fun in the 3 parks over the holiday. So, just come along from 12 to 3pm: there will be family fun, games and bikes with Active Communities. People will get the chance to say what they would like to see in their local parks. Tuesday 28th May at Brunswick Road next to Nelson Mandela. Weds 29th May Trafalgar Rd pocket Park. Thurs 30th may Pickwick Park on St Paul’s Road.

Plant and Play

Crimes of Grime

07/05/2019 at 3:04 am | Posted in Green Spaces | Leave a comment

Dumping waste from building or other work is  a menace in Balsall Heath.

George Street Park has mounds of rubble and broken furniture at its entrance, while more builder’s waste is dumped further inside. Park users are being disrespected and the city council has to pay for it to be moved, eventually. It looks like no one cares and it makes the park feel less safe especially for children  Such crimes should be reported, and they say that they will prosecute and fine, where they have evidence of who is responsible. A list of people who have been prosecuted appears here.  A way to report fly-tipping  incidents is on the Council’s website





Plants for your Garden

17/04/2019 at 11:22 am | Posted in Food, Gardens, Green Spaces | Leave a comment

Balsall Heaths’s own garden centre is open to the public and stocked with plants at reasonable prices every day, from Easter. Despite some rumours of difficulties, Balsall Heath Forum has invested and bought in a wide range and they are selling well. I saw tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and strawberries – why buy them from the supermarket when you could be growing your own with even a small yard or containers ?  Lovely hanging baskets and bedding plants to give colour and cheer up the neighbourhood.

Well worth a visit… just off Ladypool Road in St Paul’s Road, (next to Clifton Primary School).


Sit down protest pays off

05/04/2019 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Streets, Walking | Leave a comment

People need to be able to sit down in the centre of the Balsall Heath, especially the elderly, disabled, parents with small children, those waiting for a bus etc. Complaints have been going to Birmingham City Council for months about the broken benches in front of the baths and library.  They  looked awful and let the street down  Thanks to the library staff and to Councillor Shabrana Hussein and others for keeping on with the requests to get this problem fixed. If you know of something that needs doing to improve the street scene for pedestrians then you can use the reporting website FixMyStreet

Library bench

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