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Birmingham's bollard bonanza as "forest" of traffic-calming poles installed outside school... to protect cyclists and pedestrians from bad parking; Kid's expletive-laden reaction to not getting a bike for Christmas + more on the live blog

̶I̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶W̶e̶d̶n̶e̶s̶d̶a̶y̶ It feels like Wednesday and Dan Alexander is here to take you through the middle of the shortened week on the live blog...
05 January 2023, 09:07
Birmingham's bollard bonanza as "forest" of traffic-calming poles installed outside school... to protect cyclists and pedestrians from bad parking

This anti-dangerous parking measure from Birmingham City Council along the A38 Bristol Road between Longbridge and Northfield has attracted more than enough chatter for a blog post...

Installed to "challenge" inconsiderate and dangerous parking outside The Meadows Primary School, it was actually implemented 18 months ago but has come to the world's attention thanks to national newspaper coverage and, of course, Twitter's ever-brilliant World Bollard Association.

The 50m stretch includes 60 of the poles, described by one local as "weird slalom posts more suited to the Winter Olympics", outside the primary school, but has drawn criticism from some, including those who believe the scheme could prove more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

"We're all for traffic safety around a primary school, but this just looks like a weird slalom of posts more suited to the Winter Olympics," Jessica grant told the Coventry Telegraph.

"It's an absolute eyesore too and if anything could prove more dangerous for cyclists or pedestrians trying to navigate it. Delivery drivers have also been unable to park up and I hear parents have had difficulties too. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else to be honest."

Another local added: "Serious questions have to be asked of the council. It's barmy. Who on earth thought this was a good idea? We have had problems with parking near the school but this is an unnecessary eyesore and complete overkill by the council."

05 January 2023, 09:18
"Unfortunately the number of bollards that have been installed demonstrates the scale of the problem"

Responding to the public frenzy over the bollards, Birmingham City Council told The Telegraph:

We receive regular complaints from residents about inconsiderate and dangerous parking outside the school. 

We are working with the school to help challenge this behaviour and encourage walking and cycling where appropriate, but unfortunately the number of bollards that have been installed demonstrates the scale of the problem. 

We will continue to encourage parents to consider other forms of transport and to consider others when dropping off children at school.
 

05 January 2023, 17:01
British clothing brand VeloVixen enters liquidation
velovixen 2015

VeloVixen co-founder Phil Bingham has told Cycling Weekly a multitude of factors and "feeling the pinch" has caused his British-based cycling clothing brand to enter liquidation.

The news was shared on the company's website, with Bingham explaining "adverse forces" have conspired against it and that after 11 years the brand is no more.

"It's like any other small business in the cycling world," he explained. "At the moment, I don't know if there is any business within cycling that isn't feeling the pinch," he said. "I think we can genuinely say that this is all the forces at once conspiring against us. It's a combination of energy prices, inflation, doom and gloom amongst consumers and cost of living."

We'll have a feature on the challenges facing British cycling clothing brands in the near future...

05 January 2023, 16:40
Near Miss of the Day overseas edition
05 January 2023, 16:04
How I expect all future bike photos to be posted...
05 January 2023, 15:35
New Kask helmet spotted in Ineos Grenadiers Instagram post?

We love a bit of off-season speculating and kit spotting. As the pros head out on training camp spins, their teams keen to snap all the new kit, it's a great opportunity to try to see if there's anything interesting and unreleased on show.

> Is a MECHANICAL 12-speed Shimano 105 groupset coming in 2023 after all?

So, when we saw this on Ineos Grenadiers' Instagram we first had to get over the shock of seeing G without Oakleys... but once the deep feeling of emptiness had shifted, another thing caught our eye — that aero helmet on Dani Martinez's head...

New Kask helmet? (Ineos Grenadiers/Instagram)

Seen again here... 

New Kask helmet? (Ineos Grenadiers/Instagram)

Now, if you search Kask Elemento you'll get a few results come up online, but it's not yet released, leading our tech team to speculate this could be a replacement for the Utopia or slot in between the Utopia and Protone Icon in the Kask range.

For more off-season sightings check out the possible new Cannondale SuperSix Evo 4 that EF pros have been seen on this week...

> Is this the new Cannondale SuperSix Evo 4? Pro riders spotted on mysterious new road racing machine

05 January 2023, 15:19
Wout wins again

Water's wet, the Pope's a Catholic etc. etc.

That's Van Aert first, Van der Poel second. And another classic of the badly timed cycling photos genre...

05 January 2023, 14:20
More on Battersea's bike hub

road.cc reader Rendel went to visit Battersea's new bike hub, shared on yesterday's live blog, and sent us this video of the confusing amount of pushbutton doors you have to negotiate if entering from the car park...

Just a reminder the total redevelopment cost £9 billion...

Oh, and if you aren't coming from the car park there's a lift, or this...

05 January 2023, 13:10
Cycling Tech News | The TOP 10 bike-tech news stories of 2022

05 January 2023, 12:52
Dame Sarah Storey, DCS Andy Cox and a whole bunch of whataboutery — reaction to our near miss feature

You might have seen we've put together an updated feature on submitting camera footage to police forces...

Near Miss of the Day 821

> Here's what to do if you capture a near miss, close pass or collision on camera while cycling

It was put together with the input of Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Cox whose full comments can be read here...

 Anyway, the piece prompted a fair bit of discussion...

And a wholly predictable bunch of whataboutery...

05 January 2023, 11:41
Kid's expletive-laden reaction to not getting a bike for Christmas

There's other stuff around this morning outside of Birmingham. We'd rather you don't take this one too seriously or pile into the comments to have a go at anyone involved...

Anyway, it's now internet famous and it can't be long before it pops up across the usual meme pages... 

05 January 2023, 10:32
Your thoughts

 To kick off our early comments round-up, SimoninSpalding sums up how we're all feeling this morning...

"Will you please stop putting links to the World Bollard Association Twitter feed in the live blog. It causes a significant reduction in productivity in this corner of Lincolnshire every time you do."

Car Delenda Est: "The bollards do seem to be on a shared path so I have concerns about whether they'd need to be spaced further for accessibility. But overall traffic calming and stopping pavement parking outside a school are a two for one. Just a shame they haven't done anything for the road itself."

Patrick9-32: "Delivery drivers have also been unable to park up and I hear parents have had difficulties too. That's literally the point you lukewarm cup of piss." *Makes a note of lukewarm cup of piss as an insult for future purposes...

hawkinspeter: "As much as bollards are the true heroes of road safety, I can't help but think that parking rule enforcement is the better answer. Install some ANPR cameras covering the area and keep on sending out fines in the post to the drivers."

And finally with a little language warning... JustTryingToGet...: "Birmingham Council should be more blunt. 'Sure it looks a bit mad, but it's better than a selfish prick killing a kid with their illegal parking. They don't give a fuck whether your kid lives or dies, but they do (sometimes) care about their vehicle paintwork. Therefore we're hopeful that this approach will succeed where other reasonable approaches have failed to get through their thick skulls'.

To which SimoninSpalding replied: "Do you work in marketing or the Diplomatic Service? If not you may have missed your calling!"

05 January 2023, 09:36
MORE BOLLARDS

What's that across the junction? Of course... more bollards! Oh, and confirmation the fairly wide path running parallel to the A-road, and now bursting with bollards, is a shared-use path... (admittedly one you may not want to use)...

Birmingham bollard site (Google Maps)

 

05 January 2023, 09:25
"A place where dreams come true": World Bollard Association can't control its excitement...

Everyone's favourite bollard-repping blue bird app account is in heaven...

You're a niche interest group... but bollard fans, this week you rule the world... (well, a 50m stretch of Birmingham A-road to be precise)... 

That was fun. 

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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48 comments

Avatar
ktache | 1 year ago
4 likes

Article brings nothing new, but the picture they used is brilliant.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/05/barmy-bunch-of-60-bollar...

That's safe!

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lesterama replied to ktache | 1 year ago
5 likes

Mrs Jessica Grant, "...Delivery drivers have also been unable to park up and I hear parents have had difficulties too." FFS

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Awavey | 1 year ago
5 likes

sad news to start the year to hear Velovixen have gone into liquidation, they were a good company/online shop to deal with IMO.

not that I guess it would have made much difference but I regret now not buying more stuff from them last year, as I really liked alot of their branded range but never quite hit the buy button on it. As theyre not wrong with the do I spend £100 on a nice cycling jersey? Or do I stick that on a household bill? as a choice. One of my near permanent new years resolutions is always to try to buy less new kit each year

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
3 likes

Shame, Mrs H was/is a big fan of their stuff and it was definitely of a quality worth paying a premium for (so I was told when complaining that my entire outfit including shoes cost less than her jersey...).

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
10 likes

Immaculate overtake from a tesco driver today - also they must have been waiting behind me for almost a minute too. I did give them a big thumbs up.

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
0 likes

I always worry about doing that in case it gets someone's back up ("You being f-ing patronising?!" "Which finger was that?").

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Bungle_52 replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
1 like

Generally speaking I find supermarket delivery drivers are very careful around me when cycling. Do they get paid a wage rather than per delivery? Do they receive training?

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stonojnr replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
2 likes

Not convinced on that, when Sainsburys vans overtake through pinchpoints like this.

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mikewood replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
0 likes

With Waitrose, Yes and Yes  1

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stonojnr replied to mikewood | 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm sure I can find a Waitrose close pass example in the archives too. It's down to the individual driver ultimately, not the company.

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wtjs replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Do they receive training?

Stagecoach bus drivers doubtless receive training, but they don't pay any attention to it because there's no possibility that Lancashire Constabulary will pay any attention to reports of close-passing by Stagecoach (or any other bus, lorry or car!) drivers

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
10 likes

A couple of things I didn't have space to say on Twitter about the Battersea effort: one is that all the door opening buttons are on the right hand side, so that when you open the door you will be directly in the path of cyclists coming from the other side, and that the crowning glory comes when you get to the hub and find the notice on the door saying that from there onwards you must dismount and walk your bike to your parking space.

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
4 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

A couple of things I didn't have space to say on Twitter about the Battersea effort: one is that all the door opening buttons are on the right hand side, so that when you open the door you will be directly in the path of cyclists coming from the other side, and that the crowning glory comes when you get to the hub and find the notice on the door saying that from there onwards you must dismount and walk your bike to your parking space.

Not so different to the Sheffield stands in central Bristol for the main shopping area which are in a BID-controlled private-not-public space, where cycling is banned.

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eburtthebike replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
6 likes

There can be no further doubt that this facility was conceived, designed and constructed by people who hate cyclists.

And how wide were the cycle lanes in the video?  They looked pretty narrow to me.

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Rendel Harris replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
4 likes

I certainly think two wide-bar MTBs passing each other might have issues.

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Awavey replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
0 likes

with a bit of give and take it will be alright I dont think there are going to streams of cyclists entering and exiting at the same time  1

the rest of it is just the trade offs of following building regulations with fire doors and disability access, Ive a feeling the access buttons are nearly always placed right hand side,  Im sure there are ways they could do it better, but it looks like the space came before the idea of what to do with it.

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Rendel Harris replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
3 likes

Awavey wrote:

with a bit of give and take it will be alright I dont think there are going to streams of cyclists entering and exiting at the same time

There aren't now but there might be in future, there's a huge amount of office and retail space in the development: Apple recently announced that they're opening a 1400 worker office there, that alone should bring in a fair number.

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eburtthebike replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
1 like

Awavey wrote:

with a bit of give and take it will be alright.......

I don't think that is an excuse for not following best practice and deliberately designing in danger.  It is absolutely guaranteed that there will be times when there is conflict between users because they made it that way, when the briefest consideration of how it will be used would have shown them the folly of their ways.

Perhaps this is like the design of cycle facilities on the road, in that the least qualified, least experienced trainee was considered perfectly able to design stuff for cyclists; because it's only cyclists innit.

I'm sure they'll be reconsidering it once they've had a few collisions.  They'll inevitably blame the cyclists and probably ban them.

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brooksby | 1 year ago
13 likes

I'm watching Rendel's video of trying to find the Battersea cycle hub parking, and a Hitch Hiker's Guide quote comes to mind...

Quote:

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a torch.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

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mattw | 1 year ago
2 likes

Sticky plaster to be replaced by something more useful once they have thought about it. Segregarted cycleway and some proper raingardens (rather than the Guerilal Gardening size excrescences usually installed).

Why is the street sign positioned to block the flow on the shared pavement as much as possible?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to mattw | 1 year ago
1 like

mattw wrote:

Why is the street sign positioned to block the flow on the shared pavement as much as possible?

Are you talking about the second photo "across the junction?" It isn't blocking the shared pavement.  That section of area is essentially owned by the building next to it similar to the shop frontages space is owned by them. The shared public pavement is the thin strip in front of the bollards. 

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mattw replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 1 year ago
0 likes

I was referring to the "School Close" sign in the pic at the bottom of the article, which looks perfect for a cycling somersault.

I admit I did not inspect the legal extent of anything.

 

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Mungecrundle | 1 year ago
2 likes

Should ship some of those bollards off to Ukraine to help them keep the Ruskies out.

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Hirsute replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago
6 likes
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hawkinspeter replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
5 likes

hirsute wrote:

https://twitter.com/WorldBollard/status/1498244871257300997

That'll buff right out

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SimoninSpalding | 1 year ago
15 likes

Will you please stop putting links to the World Bollard Association twitter feed in the live blog. It causes a significant reduction in productivity in this corner of Lincolnshire every time you do.

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the little onion replied to SimoninSpalding | 1 year ago
9 likes

I LOVE BOLLARDS

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SimoninSpalding replied to SimoninSpalding | 1 year ago
6 likes

Woohoo! 2 quotes of my comments in the blog, maybe it was a more productive morning than I thought.

 

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Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
4 likes
Jessica Grant wrote:

...could prove more dangerous for cyclists or pedestrians trying to navigate it. Delivery drivers have also been unable to park up

The bollards do seem to be on a shared path so I have concerns about whether they'd need to be spaced further for accessibility. But overall traffic calming and stopping pavement parking outside a school are a two for one. Just a shame they haven't done anything for the road itself.

Also sad to see Bezos can't continue to use the most inefficient means to undermine local stores and endanger children for profit.

Avatar
Patrick9-32 replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
3 likes

The bollards appear to be somewhere around 1.2-1.5m apart so it would be pretty uncommon to find a mobility aid or pushchair that struggled with the spacing. (wheelchair accessibility spacing is 82cm for reference)

The only accessibility issue that I see (and those affected unfortunately may not) is that it is a forest of black bollards on black pavement. 

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