die belebende Bedenkung

Cycling and Birmingham canal towpaths, part three

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Birmingham cyclists “have been encouraged to ditch their cars” by the city council’s Cycle Revolution project, which includes improvements to canal towpaths to encourage their use as cycle routes. However, public security on the canals seems to be deteriorating. They are not covered by CCTV and miscreants seem to be operating more or less unchecked.

[Doctor beaten up by Birmingham canal muggers who are ‘preying on cyclists’, Jeanette Oldham, Birmingham Mail, 6 Oct 2015]

John Ainsworth was cycling along the Ackers Trust basin when he was set upon by thugs who tried to push him into the water to steal his bike.

The doctor, who works at the Children’s Hospital, suffered a broken nose after being repeatedly punched by the would-be muggers, who fled when other cyclists appeared.

Police questioned four teenagers over the September 30 attack on the Yardley and Small Heath border and have now stepped up patrols in the area.

The 6pm attack came days after a female cyclist was attacked in the same area as she rode home. She needed hospital treatment after injuring her arm when she was pushed into the water.

Other violent canal incidents include an assault on another Birmingham eye surgeon, Mark Wevill, who had tweeted about being punched and pushed by thugs last Friday.


Written by beleben

October 8, 2015 at 9:36 am

Posted in Birmingham

One Response

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  1. Here is also the issue of the total unsuitabilty of canal-side towpaths as commuter, and utility cycling routes, sharing a towpaths which cannot normally be widened to the 3 metres minimum to provide space for free flowing cycle traffic, potentially travelling at up to 10 times the speed (20mph fast cycling vice 2 mph leisurely walking) of pedestrian traffic, and the mismatch of pedestrian ability to stop, turn through, 90/180 degrees and set off with faster acceleration than most cars, on the spot, against the need of cyclists to have a distance to stop and a minimum radius for cornering. This is especially a hazard where the towpath passes through a bridge hole (restricted width, headroom, sightlines, and often uneven ‘heritage’ surfaces).

    Canal towpaths are NOT suitable for a core cycling (as transport) network, and the design (sic) of the current works is seriously in need of a robust safety audit.

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    October 8, 2015 at 10:25 am

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