Birmingham: Cycle lane installed for Commonwealth Games criticised

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Some in Birmingham called the new cycle lane a waste of time and money (Picture: BPM Media)

The Brummies were left baffled by what some have dubbed “the world’s shortest bike lane”.

The eight-foot stretch in the city center was painted on a newly tarred road ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Council bosses say it was designed to help visiting cyclists navigate the roads during the event, but some residents are less than impressed.

The short lane on Corporation Street has been called “completely unnecessary” and a “waste of taxpayers’ money”.

Its design – which the council says is supposed to tell cyclists to get off their bikes – actually seems to encourage them to ride on the pavement, according to some reviewers.

Trader Ryan Evans, 32, from Edgbaston, said: ‘It’s ridiculous. I don’t know which is worse, the fact that the bike lane is about 8 feet long or the way it directs cyclists onto a sidewalk where people will be walking.

“Not only is it completely unnecessary, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Passers-by were left baffled after what they thought was the 'world's shortest cycle lane' appeared in Birmingham city centre.  The white markings have been painted on the road opposite the Square Peg Pub in Corporation Street.  The markup, which extends over a few meters in length, is that of a bicycle with a sign pointing to the sidewalk.  The track is surrounded by a broken white line and a solid white line.  'Cycle Lane' across from Square Peg is not what it seems

The new Birmingham City Center Cycleway in all its glory (Photo: BPM Media)

“At a time when Birmingham should be promoting itself through the Commonwealth Games, the council is once again turning us into a laughingstock.”

Dad-of-two Graham Robertson, 50, who cycles from his home in Digbeth to work as an IT consultant in the town centre, said: ‘I am baffled. I cycle around the city every day and always thought there had to be better bike paths, but not this.

‘How on earth is painting the world’s shortest bike path going to help anyone? It’s embarassing.’

Birmingham City Council says it is not a cycle lane but a ‘waymark’ for cyclists.

A spokesperson said: ‘These are not cycle lanes but guidance for cyclists to leave the carriageway and descend.

“Different alignments of tram tracks in the Bull Street Corporation delta junction mean it is not safe for cyclists remaining in the saddle to cross them.

“As the project is still under construction, the road markings were installed before the signs were put in place and with the temporary halt to inner city metro work during the Commonwealth Games, this incomplete section n is currently not open for use.”

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