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Tory councillor expressed his fears for the Cycle Revolution plans

A £700,000 cycle path planned for a Birmingham park will ‘spoil’ the area and generate anti-social behaviour, according to local councillors.

The plans for Woodgate Valley Country Park were opposed by a group led by Conservative councillor John Lines.

But the plans were approved following representation from Labour cabinet member Stewart Stacey who argues that the path would be more attractive to cyclists and pedestrians and encourage more use of the park.

Cllr Stacey said: ”This is about giving people the opportunity, with their bicycles, to go through and enjoy a green area,” according to the Birmingham Post.

The £728,000 path has been developed under the Government-funded Birmingham Cycle Revolution scheme.

But Coun John Lines said he feared it would encourage motorised traffic.

He said: "They want to tarmac through Woodgate Valley - a wildlife park - and spoil it. We are all for more cycling but they should not be paving over our park.

"We get the motorbikes and motor scooters are already enough of a nuisance and this will only encourage them.

"They have had all this money from the Government and are desperate to spend it," he added.

A report to the council's cabinet states: "The Birmingham Cycle Revolution programme seeks to increase the attractiveness of cycling which will contribute to reducing car usage, improving health and the environment and improving connectivity for households without a car.

"Many of the proposals including this route through Woodgate Valley Country Park will also benefit pedestrians.”

As we reported in 2014, a councillor in Birmingham said that the city’s £24.3 million ‘Cycle Revolution’ will only benefit “young, white men” and that cycling is a “discriminatory” form of transport.

In 2013, England’s second largest city was awarded £17 million under the government’s Cycle City Ambition initiative, which together with £7.3 million in local funding is aimed at getting 5 per cent of journeys made by bicycle within a decade, rising to 10 per cent after 20 years.

According to the 2011 Census, Birmingham has the lowest proportion of bike commuters of any major city in England – just 1.44 per cent of adults, virtually unchanged from 2001.

Among features of the council’s strategy aimed at driving growth are 71 miles of new cycle routes, improvements to 59 miles of existing routes, including segregation, lower speed limits for motor vehicles, and a network of traffic-free routes using canal towpaths and open spaces.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

16 comments

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wycombewheeler [1067 posts] 6 days ago
7 likes

The motorcycles thing is about the only valid point made.

I don't know how to stop them without making routes unusable for bikes too.

It drives me nuts to be on a traffic free route to find a motorbike coming the other way, and some of them sizable machines not just yoofs on their 50cc or 125cc scooters.

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rowes [86 posts] 6 days ago
5 likes

Would an ANPR camera/bus lane type camera stop motorbikes or are they illegal/stolen?

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hawkinspeter [671 posts] 6 days ago
6 likes

That councillor needs some to learn some history

Susan B. Anthony wrote:

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

"discriminatory" - my arse!

 

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brooksby [2218 posts] 6 days ago
1 like
wycombewheeler wrote:

The motorcycles thing is about the only valid point made. I don't know how to stop them without making routes unusable for bikes too. It drives me nuts to be on a traffic free route to find a motorbike coming the other way, and some of them sizable machines not just yoofs on their 50cc or 125cc scooters.

Happens on the cycle path between Pill and Portishead, and on on the Avonmouth motorway bridge; police and council can't decide whose turf it is, so nothing gets done. Big motorbikes too.

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brooksby [2218 posts] 6 days ago
2 likes

There was an attempt to put a cycle route through a park in Bristol recently (there's a story about it here on road.cc); locals all protested that they didn't want it, and it would take away their green space. They said cyclists could just ride on the roads around the park instead...

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ianrobo [1211 posts] 5 days ago
3 likes

The said councillor, lets say, has a 'history' would be very much at home in UKIP.

 BTW at the GE Lab won his seat, time is passing him by like the rest of the Tory party and those holding back progress.

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WillRod [188 posts] 5 days ago
4 likes

Some of the Tory party are progressive,  but some are fat old men that just want people out of their way so they can get to the golf club quicker.

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ianrobo [1211 posts] 5 days ago
4 likes
WillRod wrote:

Some of the Tory party are progressive,  but some are fat old men that just want people out of their way so they can get to the golf club quicker.

 

not in Birmingham they are not, a young councillor (Tory) was putting all kinds of aruguments agaonst a 4KM cycle path on the A38. This area BTW is close to Uni of Brum, Hospitals etc where a lot would want to cycle 

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Nemesis [8 posts] 5 days ago
6 likes

Why is it ALWAYS the fucking Tories  2 

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SNS1938 [98 posts] 5 days ago
5 likes

Pretty weak arguments. If we follow that line of thought, then we shouldnt build roads, as some people will speed along them. So best if we just all stay at home.

 

Lived in Cambridge for 5 years, and they have some great cycle/walking paths through parks. They're great to commute along and to get out of the city to go for a ride along. I miss them.

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jh27 [44 posts] 5 days ago
0 likes

Paving a route through parkland is going to increase off-road motor cycle usage? Presumably they'll be taking the flattest route possible for the cycle path. That's just what Motocross riders are looking for, nicely paved flat routes.

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jh27 [44 posts] 5 days ago
0 likes
rowes wrote:

Would an ANPR camera/bus lane type camera stop motorbikes or are they illegal/stolen?

It might help catch those who can't operate a screwdriver. But only if it the off road use of the motor bikes is illegal - I'm not sure what the laws are around this, I imagine it largely depends on local bye-laws.

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Mungecrundle [703 posts] 5 days ago
0 likes
Nemesis wrote:

Why is it ALWAYS the fucking Tories  2 

To be fair

http://road.cc/content/news/224394-welsh-government-accused-%E2%80%9Crid...

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RobD [407 posts] 4 days ago
2 likes

I'm not sure the cllr quite understands what discrimination actually is?  by his logic there shouldn't be any roads built as they are far more discriminatory than cycle paths. If you can't afford a couple of hundred pounds (or less) for a bike then you're vastly more discriminated against when it comes to cars, and the last time I looked I don't think bike shops are refusing to sell to anyone who isn't a young white male.

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [497 posts] 4 days ago
2 likes

Cllr John Lines is on the right of this picture:

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/birmingham-restau...

I'll put money on him spending most of his travel time in a car.  I bet he hasn't cycled...ever.

Oh and he's a lovely person with a history of violence:

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/HOUSING+BOSS+IS+FACING+CALLS+TO+RESIGN.-a...

And he thinks that illegal immigrants are "scumbags":

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/councillor-john-lines-cl...

What a lovely, lovely standup British politician.  It's just a shame he doesn't actually do much standing up - if he did, he wouldn't be so obese.

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ChasP [5 posts] 4 days ago
1 like
wycombewheeler wrote:

The motorcycles thing is about the only valid point made. I don't know how to stop them without making routes unusable for bikes too. It drives me nuts to be on a traffic free route to find a motorbike coming the other way, and some of them sizable machines not just yoofs on their 50cc or 125cc scooters.

Almost as annoying as the barriers which are supposed to stop them (and don't) but prevent many family/disabled bikes from gaining  legitimate access.