Moseley Road plan “shelved”

25/06/2020 at 10:59 am | Posted in Cycling, Streets, Trees, Walking | Leave a comment

The plan to widen Moseley Road and narrow the footways through Balsall Heath has been “shelved” according to Cabinet member for Transport Waseem Zaffar. He was  speaking to a Brum breathes meeting yesterday, held by SUSTRANS. Instead, he said that modifications to encourage walking and cycling will be designed.  Clearly that would not be possible if a fourth lane of traffic was to be inserted.

The case for bus priority has much reduced but there are some ideas from the public consultation that could be progressed and Cllr Zaffar has said he will investigate time savings  by making lights at the Middleway respond more quickly to the approach of every bus.

Meanwhile, two dying trees are to be replaced on Moseley Road, and bright orange umbrellas have signalled the reopening of the Mix Cafe as a pavement facility in front of the Old Print Works.  On Ladypool Road, pedestrians are getting more space, where some parking spaces have been removed to allow physical distancing against COVID19 virus. See below

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Ask for Walking and Cycling

02/06/2020 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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Widen My Path website offers you the power to submit detailed ideas, through an online map, as to where improvements to walking and cycling should be made.  Birmingham City Council wants to hear where, in Balsall Heath and surrounding areas we need more space to walk, with physical distancing, and to cycle in safety. You can also propose a road closure that would deter through traffic. To add a new idea or add a vote for one that has already been marked on the map. Widen My Path

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Council to look again at Moseley Road

19/05/2020 at 12:36 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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An Emergency Transport Plan has been produced by Birmingham City Council. It aims to give people more space for walking, so they can keep 2 metres distancing against the COVID19 virus, and also to allocate space for safe cycling on and off the streets. Applied to Balsall Heath it says that they will review and change the Moseley Road plans from 2019, which would have narrowed the pavements and will also look for Quick Wins, which may be the temporary reallocation of space, removal of on-street parking spaces, temporary pedestrian crossings, or moving bus stops. The big fall in road traffic is allowing this, and government is urging cities to make the changes to allow people to return to work safely during the rest of 2020. Balsall Heathans have been taking to their bikes during the “lockdown” and there is an opportunity to keep more people cycling for transport and exercise. Routes already planned in the council’s Walking and Cycling Strategy will be put in this summer.  More details are in the Emergency Birmingham Transport Plan

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Space to Walk – and be safe

08/05/2020 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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Kings Heath is the first high street in Birmingham to have its pavements widened, so that people can observe ‘social distancing’ guidelines of  2 metres apart, and so prevent transmission of the coronovirus .  Some car parking spaces have been taken out on both sides of  Alcester Road. The 4 metre wide pavement now has a 2 metre extension; total width 6 metres. Photo is below.

Moseley village may be next – very good – but Balsall Heath, also on the A435, is still threatened with having our 3 to 4 metre pavements permanently cut down to 2.2 metres, so that social distancing will be designed out (at a cost of £2.5 million). A contradiction to be resolved, surely?

Birmingham Cit Council is now saying that it will bring forward its Walking and Cycling Strategy,  by re-allocating space to walk and cycle. WMCA has a transport survey, so you can Have Your say about what you want after the ‘lockdown’ hurry closes 11 May.

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Kings Heath above, Ballsal Heath below

Walk in Space

27/04/2020 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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Well done to Moseley Forum, for asking  to have road space reallocated to pedestrians , in front of Sainsbury’s and the Coop on Alcester Road. The pavement is narrow and there is a bus stop, so it is hard for people to follow public health guidance giving 2 metres of spacing, as a precaution against the COVID19 virus.

Roads are quiet, with many people working from home, and some cities are fencing off road space to walk and to cycle safely . The Forum were responding to an offer from Birmingham’s Transport Cabinet member Waseem Zaffar to consider locations suggested by residents. 

In Balsall Heath, we benefit by pavements 3 to 4 metres wide. However, BHIOP has made the point to the decision makers that the narrowing of footways to 2.2 metres along Moseley Road as proposed by Transport for West Midlands,  would prevent people keeping “social distance” in the future, in order to avoid disease.

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Pedestrian space in Moseley

 

 

Everything has changed

04/04/2020 at 8:37 am | Posted in Air pollution, Cycling, Gardens, Green Spaces, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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The virus COVID19 has required everyone in Balsall Heath to Stay at Home, so as to avoid spreading the disease. There is fear of infection, of losing your job, of getting into debt, so these are very difficult times for many people. All gatherings of more than 2 people are banned but local organisations are trying to offer advice and help.

Yet, it is also true that the restrictions have made the area much quieter and cleaner. Cars are mostly parked up, giving people  the space to walk and cycle. Footways are clear to use. Traffic congestion has gone and the air is cleaner than we have ever known it. . People are walking and exercising every day in the local parks. Gardeners are hard at work. There is hardly any street litter because the takeaway outlets are closed and people are preparing food at home.  We could say that in some ways a healthier way of life has been forced on us, and it would be good to keep some of those benefits after the virus has gone.

More working from home and less driving  would remove the case for widening the Moseley Road, as proposed by Transport for West Midlands. A city with less traffic is proposed by the new Birmingham Transport Plan, which the city council has put out for consultation, asking if the public support it ( ending 9th April) – Birmingham Transport Plan

John Newson, (working from home)

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Opposition to widening of the Moseley Road

21/11/2019 at 4:33 pm | Posted in Air pollution, Cycling, Streets, Train station, Trees, Walking | Leave a comment
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It appears that the Bus Priority scheme, to widen the main road and reduce the foot ways so as to add another lane of traffic, after cutting down the street trees, is heading for a big Dislike,  Local organisations are objecting and a petition with hundreds of signatures calling for it to be halted  has been collected. The saving to bus passengers would be small and the cost high for our local community. This was the feeling of this month’s Ward Forum, attended by about 40 people, which were unconvinced when local concerns were dismissed as’ myths’ by the officer from Transport West Midlands. It is clear that no-one from Highgate, or Balsall Heath or Moseley was involved at any stage in drawing up these plans, therefore a huge opportunity has been missed to make a scheme that would speed up buses and benefit our communities as well.

Bus lanes may not be universally the right answer to bus travel, just as cycle lanes are not always best thing for cyclists.  Public consultations is set to close on Friday night 22nd November. Beheard website

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More on Road Widening

07/11/2019 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Air pollution, Cycling, Green Spaces, Streets, Train station, Trees, Walking | Leave a comment
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The Ward Forum for Balsall Heath & Sparkbrook will discuss the Moseley Road widening scheme on Wednesday 13th Nov. The 3 Ward councillors will attend, with members of the public. I have been asked to give an explanation of the scheme and its impact. Please come along if you can, since the councillors are there to hear and represent local opinion back to the City Council.

Meeting starts at Balsall Heath Church Centre at 7 pm, but the item is some way down the agenda (attached).

Online, there is an opportunity to comment on the reopening of Kings Heath station, people may want to support it and ask for Balsall Heath to get the same . Use application number 2019/08129/PA here

Birmingham Friends of the Earth’s petition saying No to road widening continues to gather signatures here

Comments on the scheme can be made at Beheard until 22 Nov. BeHeard website

Moseley Road

 

Is this a Better Balsall Heath ?

26/10/2019 at 12:30 am | Posted in Air pollution, Cycling, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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Debate continues over plans to widen Moseley Road.

The public meeting at The Old Print Works on 22 October was strongly critical of the Transport for West Midlands proposals, which we had described to us, to narrow the foot ways, take down the line of trees and fit in another lane of traffic through the centre of Balsall Heath. This seems quite against the core aim of the Neighbourhood Plan to strengthen our local centre.

Many ways to make the existing road function more efficiently can be identified, reducing  the delays to buses,  but this should make the widening unnecessary, it was argued. People want the rail station reopened, rather than the road widened. The full text of the discussion can be had from me John Newson  bhiop[at]jericho.org.uk

Residents have organised a meeting in Tindal Street on 27 Oct. because many people do not know about this scheme and did not get the city council’s letter about the scheme, or could not read it in English.

A petition is being started by Birmingham Friends of the Earth, in favour of a better bus service, but against the road widening, 

People have asked for, and have got, an extension until 22nd November for public consultation. Only online responses will be taken, through the BeHeard website. You can say which aspects of the scheme you like, or don’t like.

Now Birmingham City Council is to put forward, at the end of November, their big plan to reduce car travel into the city centre, as part of progressing towards a zero carbon city  in Birmingham Transport Plan 2031.

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What is the effect of fitting in another lane of traffic, here ?

Widening of the Moseley Road

11/10/2019 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Cycling, Green Spaces, Streets, Walking | 1 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

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