Birmingham’s new blue cycle routes along the A34 and A38 will be opening in the spring. The designs mean motorists will have to give way to cyclists at central reservations and after turning into side roads. Motorists’ responses on social media has been predictably robust, featuring liberal use of the phrases ‘waste of money’ and ‘accident waiting to happen’.
“Came here for the negativity and ill-judged armchair expert opinions – wasn't disappointed,” observed Neil Scott on Facebook.
In 2016, Birmingham scrapped plans for six cycle lanes in favour of two largely segregated cycle superhighways: from Selly Oak to the city centre via the A38, and from Perry Barr to the city centre via the A34.
The A38 route will feature a stretch within the central reservation, which has given rise to the design below.
#Birmingham's new blue cycle routes along the A34 & A38 will be opening this spring. So we're asking all drivers to:
'Think BLUE, let cyclists through'
— Birmingham Connected (@bhamconnected) February 14, 2019
A similar Facebook post on the Birmingham Updates page attracted several hundred comments within 24 hours.
Amid all the usual gripes and whataboutery (red light jumping, bike lights, “road tax” etc) motorists expressed concern at how the cycle lanes crossed side roads, the possibility that lanes for motor vehicles could end up blocked by turning motorists and also “the amount of hazards i would have to slam my breaks on for” [sic].
One person even expressed their fear that “a steady stream of cyclists” could mean motor vehicles stuck on the road indefinitely.
The most common fear expressed by cyclists is that motorists won’t give way as they are supposed to and may just plough into them.