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New cycle superhighway 'will block' major Birmingham junction

Councillors worried that plans to restrict turning off busy A38 will clog up neighbouring residential streets

Councillors are concerned the new cycle lane will cause traffic problems

A cycle superhighway along Birmingham's A38 Bristol Road could block a major junction and pile further traffic misery onto Edgbaston residents, it has been claimed.

Plans for the £10 million upgrade of the busy commuter route with a dedicated cycle lane were officially challenged by Edgbaston councillors Deirdre Alden and Matt Bennett who want them amended following complaints from residents.

They are particularly concerned at the proposed introduction of restrictions on turning into Priory Road from the A38 which they say will divert traffic onto nearby streets like Edgbaston Park Road and Wellington Road.

There are fears it will encourage rat running and dangerous driving along Wellington Road as well as have a knock-on effect on the Priory Road and Pershore Road junction.

Coun Bennett (Con Edgbaston) said: "We are investing a great deal in cycling which will hopefully divert some people from their cars onto their bikes."

He said that many would nevertheless stay in their cars and, "that traffic will be pushed into residential areas".

Map of the planned 2.5-mile cycleway superhighway along the A38
Map of the planned 2.5-mile cycleway superhighway along the A38

The councillors said the area was already inundated with traffic using the University of Birmingham and hospital and it had major parking problems because of staff and visitors of the major institutions.

Labour cabinet member for transport Coun Stewart Stacey responded that the highway, one of two being planned in Birmingham, would "revolutionise cycling in Birmingham" and said that such a major improvement was bound to "disadvantage" some people.

"Should there be any detrimental effects, we will look to put it right," he added.

The council's transport scrutiny committee decided not to demand a rethink of the plan but asked Coun Stacey to make sure that mitigation plans for neighbouring roads and junctions were drawn up and funding sought to implement them should the cycle lane cause further traffic problems.

The city council is investing £30 million through its Department for Transport-funded Cycle Revolution project into cycle lanes, training and hire schemes to get people to give up their cars.

This includes two dedicated cycle superhighways on Bristol Road and another on the A34 Walsall Road.

The aim is to increase the proportion of journeys made by bike by making it safer and more accessible to many residents.

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