When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a 15m long ‘cyclists dismount’ warning, apparently. Birmingham’s got paint and it’s not afraid to use it.
The Birmingham Mail reports that a new not-a-bike-lane in the city centre has left local cyclists puzzled.
Here it is in all its glory.
— Ryan Stait (@ryan_stait) April 18, 2016
Two such lanes have appeared on Corporation Street, at the junctions with Cherry Street and Bull Street.
Pictures on the Birmingham Mail site make it look rather like they’re designed to encourage people into Poundland, but a spokesman for the city council explained that the work was intended to warn cyclists away from the tram tracks.
“This is not a cycle lane. This marked area is just the advance warning to a point where cyclists will be asked to leave the carriageway and dismount. This is because part of Corporation Street is not suitable for cycling, as the new tram platforms will encroach fully into the gap between the kerb line and the tram track. We do not want cyclists trying to cross the tram tracks at a shallow angle, getting caught in the rails and falling off their bikes.”
Tram tracks have caused issues for cyclists in many cities around the UK. Last month, one Nottingham resident even saw fit to spray the words “unsafe bike lane” onto the asphalt to highlight what many in the area believe to be an unsafe stretch of road. At least one cyclist has been hit by a car there having got his wheel caught in tramlines.