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Birmingham Commuting

jeffladjefflad Posts: 315
edited March 2016 in Commuting chat
Over the weekend I've been invited to work from our Birmingham offices based in Aston. This will involve living down there and am wondering what areas are best for a commute of no more than 10 miles each way. Additionally, what areas for living should a newbie to Birmingham avoid? I'm sure I'll get advice from the office but would find it interesting to see if anyone uses the infrastructure down there and what areas are considered preferable to live than others.

Thanks in advance to all your advice!

Posts

  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,671
    To my eyes the middle of Birmingham is good but then you have a donut of s1te around it before you reach the nice outer bits. So if I was you I would live in an apartment in the centre and cycle out to Aston each day.
  • jeffladjefflad Posts: 315
    To my eyes the middle of Birmingham is good but then you have a donut of s1te around it before you reach the nice outer bits. So if I was you I would live in an apartment in the centre and cycle out to Aston each day.

    Yeah, thought of that but then wondered if the roads would just be too busy with traffic but will have a look... where does the donut end and it gets decent, would that be too far to ride... ideally north of Birmingham if not North Easterly?
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,671
    jefflad wrote:
    To my eyes the middle of Birmingham is good but then you have a donut of s1te around it before you reach the nice outer bits. So if I was you I would live in an apartment in the centre and cycle out to Aston each day.

    Yeah, thought of that but then wondered if the roads would just be too busy with traffic but will have a look... where does the donut end and it gets decent, would that be too far to ride... ideally north of Birmingham if not North Easterly?

    You will be going against the traffic. More fun to be had in to the evenings if you live in the middle
  • Birmingham is not a cycle friendly place!
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Birmingham is not a cycle friendly place!

    this!

    and aston isn't a nice place either! watch out for lozells too!!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • rj2013rj2013 Posts: 20
    I cycle from Sutton Coldfield (nice) to Tysley (not) on a daily basis. if you are looking for locations in North Easterly Birmingham then I'd suggest you start looking at Sutton Coldfield then effectively follow the train line out to lichfield to pick locations(stops are Chester Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, Four Oaks, Butlers Lane, Blake Street, Shenstone, Lichfield City). pick your commuting distance and work from there. Sutton is around 6 - 9 miles to the center of Birmingham. Lichfield up to about 18 or so.
    with regard to Birmingham being cycling friendly it doesn't have the best (or much) cycling infrastructure but depending on your route it does generally have bus lanes (Spaghetti junction to Aston for example). if you are reasonably confident you shouldn't have too much issue. besides the traffic is normally so bad that no-one is moving so it becomes a non issue :-)
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,415
    I ride from Cannock Chase to the city centre daily, it's not too bad these days. It's not hugely bike friendly, but there's little animosity.

    I like living north of birmingham, it's much cheaper than south, plus for aston you'd not need to go through the city. Streetly is nice, a lot of Aldridge is nice, both are on my various route in and from there the ride in isn't too bad. Especially Streetly, the roads are fine for riding in from there.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • prawny wrote:
    I ride from Cannock Chase to the city centre daily, it's not too bad these days. It's not hugely bike friendly, but there's little animosity.

    I like living north of birmingham, it's much cheaper than south, plus for aston you'd not need to go through the city. Streetly is nice, a lot of Aldridge is nice, both are on my various route in and from there the ride in isn't too bad. Especially Streetly, the roads are fine for riding in from there.

    Are you using that recent bargain Saracen Tenet 3 for commuting duties? If so, how are you finding it so far?
    ================
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  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,415
    I certainly am, fitting mudguards is proving to be a bit of a pain in the censored (mainly because I was trying to be tight and use the ones off my old bike) and I've not managed to get the disc brakes set up how I like them yet but other than that it's a belter.

    I'm totally sold on discs for road now, even these ones that I reckon are probably cack are so much better than the old tekro rim brakes it's untrue.

    Downsides - a bit more clearance for fatter tyres would have been nice, and I'm not a huge fan of the colour.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • jeffladjefflad Posts: 315
    Thanks to all contributors... Been a bit hectic this week with the wheels starting to turn on the job but will look at the suggestions now!
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    have you considered finding somewhere further out and cycling to a train station and getting the train into the city centre?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • jeffladjefflad Posts: 315
    Chris Bass wrote:
    have you considered finding somewhere further out and cycling to a train station and getting the train into the city centre?

    *Gulp* no, never thought of that... are the trains not too crowded, these days though for a sweaty cyclist to roll up and find space for him and his bike? also, could I be refused entry if the trains are particularly busy?
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    I meant leaving your bike at the station, some might have racks in view of the ticket office so should be safer?
    maybe?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,415
    Trains around birmingham are hell on earth, I'd rather (and do) take my chances on the road.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    prawny wrote:
    Trains around birmingham are hell on earth, I'd rather (and do) take my chances on the road.
    The Chiltern line in from Warwick/Leamington/Banbury into New Street is fine, the route into New Street from Coventry and beyond is OK if rather busy at rush hour, the routes in from the West/North are indeed rather rubbish!
  • TaliusTalius Posts: 282
    We're just in the process of buying a house near Pershore / Evesham. I'll be working pretty much in the centre of Brum. From looking at the maps I reckon there's a doable commute along back roads up through Redditch and onwards to the edge of Birmingham, then the canal path or main roads to the centre. It will be around 35 miles each way, and I suspect a fair bit hillier than my current commute from Molesey to CWharf. But am v much hoping there's a viable route in.

    Anyone have any experience of that side of Birmingham or through the centre etc?
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