Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

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Dave Cox
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Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Dave Cox » 28 Nov 2018 11:31

Hi you may have noticed that the roundabout on the A38 junction with Lickey Road has been "improved" through a Longbridge "Connectivity" Project consulted on in 2015. The object of the "improvement' is to speed up motor traffic and ease "congestion". The inner lane of the A38 dual carriageway towards the City now has a "flared filter lane" with no requirement to stop. Pushbikes think that this poses particular dangers for cyclists including Beacon riders returning from Barnt Green. I've raised this with the City Council cycling team. You have to stop at the bottom of Lickey Rd quite rightly and then with difficult sight lines because of signs on the roundabout find a gap and accelerate. You then are faced going up and over a bridge with filtering into fast moving traffic on your left. Some of these motorists will be filtering right to get into Longbridge Lane. It's difficult in a car but more so on a bike when motorists may not see you in their blind spots.

Birmingham Cycle Revolution (sic) solution not yet built will be two stage toucan crossings some way up the dual carriageway leading on to the "shared use" pavement which links Longbridge and Northfield. Apart from inconveniencing pedestrians this form of "infrastructure" gives no priority to cyclists at entries, side roads, driveways etc of which there are many. I do use the shared paths when shopping but don't envisage many club cyclists doing so. There are other junctions around the City where allegedly beating congestion has led to millions of pounds being spent and cyclists being diverted onto pavements and multi-stage toucan crossings. It is a bad policy and the results will be with us for a generation. If congestion is eased it will just attract more traffic and recreate the delays or export them up the road.

I've been riding back from Barnt Green and up the A38 for many years without any problem but we are going to have to be very careful on this junction from now on. It isn't easy in a car. Alternatives via Longbridge shopping centre or West Heath are possible but really cyclists need direct safe routes.

What do other members think?

Philmondo
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Philmondo » 28 Nov 2018 17:53

Hi Dave. Having ridden across the new layout at Longbridge a handful of times now, I certainly find it to be a hazardous and unnerving experience. The first time I crossed it I hadn't realised it had been changed and got a bit of a surprise when the traffic coming from the left didn't stop moving! I do think its pretty dangerous and will probably find an alternative route home from Barnt Green when on solo rides from now on.
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petemarshall
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by petemarshall » 28 Nov 2018 20:17

So they've made it possible for more cars to get to Northfield from Longbridge and visa versa. I imagine that they've also enlarged Northfield to cope with the Longbridge vehicles and visa versa.
It's good to see more wonderful examples of transport planning in Birmingham. Makes me glad to live in Dudley. They're no better but at least have no pretence to be having a"Revolution".

John & Hilary
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by John & Hilary » 29 Nov 2018 10:00

Agree with Dave's comments. The toucan crossing is up and running but not good or practical for club cyclists. An alternative suggestion is to return from Barnt Green via Hopwood Hill where the footpath has been resurfaced all the way up from the Westmead nearly to Longbridge Lane. We have been looking for this improvement for a long time and had written to Worcestershire Council quite sometime ago requesting a dual use path and for it to be resurfaced.

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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Yosser » 29 Nov 2018 15:26

Living just up the hill from this island means it's almost unavoidable for me. I have stated to hug the RHS of the RHL until exiting the island and then making my way across to the inside provided that it is clear. I am not sure of any real safe way of coping with this.

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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by laurence_cooley » 01 Dec 2018 09:40

I rode through here heading towards the city for the first time since the changes this morning, and it was fine, but then it was early and there wasn't much traffic. I've never liked that roundabout much, but I can imagine it's worse now at busy times. They've done a similar thing at the pagoda roundabout in town, too, with traffic coming down Bath Row able to turn left without stopping.

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George
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by George » 01 Dec 2018 13:25

Dave, you are spot on. It is a classic example of cycle-unfriendly infrastructure. Fortunately for me personally, it's a junction that I rarely encounter on my bike nowadays. Unfortunately for me, very similar criticisms can be levelled at the 'improvements' being made to the Worcester Southern Bypass, which is well on the way to becoming a near-impassible barrier on various routes that I habitually take (when, for just a relatively small addition to the whopping cost of dualling several miles of road, including a river crossing, a railway bridge, four roundabouts and the re-routing of a major power line, conditions for cyclists could actually have been made better, not worse).

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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Tim » 03 Dec 2018 15:00

Will take a look. Not seen since was being constructed. Not sure the roundabout design is to speed up traffic as the whole section between Northfield and Rubery is getting a new 30mph speed limit (sure adherence will be 100%!). I think it actually has been made tighter (a long construction vehicle got stuck trying to get round it during construction) to encourage vehicles turning right to slow down but this results in conflict with cyclicts who are advised to take primary to prevent attempted overtakes; but if doing 15mph and car can still do 35 through it there's an issue!
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Lapin
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Lapin » 05 Dec 2018 13:05

I totally ignored what it was they were doing when doing construction on that roundabout for ages and then after a spell riding elsewhere nonchalantly rode over the roundabout from lickey. Almost found myself under someone's car trying to get into the left lane - I was utterly shocked at the road layout. Made absolutely no sense - even for motor traffic! Its like city planning was performed by a random number generator.

I agree with Dave - the only way I can imagine navigating it is to stay in the middle of the right lane and nip left when the traffic slows for the lights / actually at the lights. Tried indicating left and merging with that filter traffic and just ended up almost being hit - they just aren't looking for people merging having just come round a filtered left hand turn.

Beyond idiotic.

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Si_Walker
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Si_Walker » 05 Dec 2018 19:59

I agree with the views of other contributors.
Ive ridden that section and agree it is particularly hazardous, the cyclist being directed into a lane with vehicles filtering at speed from the left and vehicles overtaking on the right whilst needing to cross into the left hand lane. Eyes in back as well as sides of the head being required to assess the risk and some power required to get up the hill after a standing start from the junction. Retaining the usual right of way on the roundabout would be much safer for all concerned, surely reducing the risk. Unfortunately I envisage Its only a matter of time before a cyclist is knocked off on this section of road as vehicles cross lanes at speed on the brow of (or before) the hill, whilst potentially blind to the cyclist in the middle lane or crossing to the inside.
Si Walker
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Tim
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Tim » 05 Dec 2018 20:28

Write to your councillors (Cllr Olly Armstrong who covers Longbridge but maybe not as south as this is good and will try to get answers) and Birmingham Connected either via email or Twitter/Facebook. Cllr Armstrong is active on twitter too. Share link to this discussion with them. Video footage helps too. It's new infrastructure, doesnt always work as intended (drivers are a pain like that!) if dangerous they need to know. Clearly no thought to people using by bike in the thinking but highways engineers are tasked by law to keep cars moving not people unfortunately. The more people who raise it the better. There are public councillor ward forums you can raise at too if don't get answers in meantime.
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Tim
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Re: Dangerous changes at Longbridge roundabout

Post by Tim » 05 Dec 2018 20:30

There's a meeting on cycling and walking on Monday evening that the council and councillor Armstrong will be at, at the Impact Hub in Digbeth at 6.30. Go along and raise there and share ideas on how can get more people cycling and walking.
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