Gritty Bournville

Inspired by fellow local news site, Northwood Local, we’ve produced a map of Birmingham City Council gritting routes in Bournville.

View Bournville and surrounds – gritting routes in a larger map

With the cold spell set to continue for the rest of the coming week and with fears growing over shortages of gritting salt this map highlights how local streets are prioritised by the City Council.

There are three levels of priority.

  • Priority One (green on the map) – major roads within the city.
  • Priority Two (orange on the map) – other roads with heavy traffic, which are an essential part of Birmingham’s Network.
  • Priority Three (purple on the map) – other busy local roads, important routes identified by the Emergency Services’, all frequent bus routes, main access routes to large residential areas and important commuter routes.

The City Council hasn’t stated how they plan to preserve salt should supplies dwindle or if they will utilise their priority system in deciding which roads not to grit. 1182km of carriageway is routinely treated by Birmingham City Council with the city divided into 27 gritting routes. The council has now gritted roads for 26 consecutive nights (as of 10th Jan), a huge increase on the previous record of 14 consecutive nights.

Note: the map only shows those roads within Bournville that are gritted. The data has been taken from the Birmingham City Council website (also made available by Bournville News as a google document). We can’t accept liabilities for any inaccuracies.

12 comments on “Gritty Bournville

  1. Given that this kind of info is not as useful as it could be unless you also know the wider picture what about at least showing the same info for the immediately neighbouring areas? Also is there somewhere were you can see such a map for the whole of Birmingham?

    And while I’m thinking about it it makes me wonder about the area considered to be Bournville. The area you show is quite narrowly defined and leaves out areas that are on the Bournville Village Trust estate which are not in Bournville “proper” Given that BVT covers a slightly larger area than Bournville as you define maybe you should think about covering that as well?

  2. Looking at the map again you include areas I wouldn’t think of as being Bournville – for example parts of Cotteridge and Stirchley but don’t include areas that do have just as much if not more links with Bournville – my area of the Estate on the other side of the Bristol Road for example.

  3. I took the data from the City Council and just put in those roads that they had listed as ‘Bournville’. They even had Dads Lane as Bournville.

    Much of what you describe is actually down as Northfield or Selly Oak on the City data. In producing the map I had to:
    a) cut and paste the data from the council website into a spreadsheet (they only list alphabetically by road)
    b) draw the lines on a google map

    Once I’d done the guts of Bournville I stopped as it was simply taking too long. So yes, this isn’t all that helpful to all Bournville residents (trust or non-trust). The City could make this all easier by releasing the KML data for the actual routes that the lorries go on. I know it has this data, I’ve even met the man who looks after it. While it remains unavailable to the rest of us all we’ve got is attempts like mine to extrapolate and make sense of it

    We need a ‘Free our Brum data’ campaign.

  4. Brian, I would argue this data is incredibly useful for Bournville residents. The blog is for those who live in or are passing through the area, and isn’t trying to give information for those living in Stirchley, Northfield or neighbouring districts.
    I suggest if you’d like to see a blog which covers these areas you should start one yourself – the more local information the better available and people willing to put in voluntary hours to do this the better.
    The area covered on the blog is based on ward boundary data obtained from Birmingham City Council – which does mean some residents who live in Bournvile Village Trust houses are left out.
    It obviously took a lot of effort to get the map produced and I think it serves as a fantastic way for residents living in or near the area to see which roads are being made priority for gritting. I support Dave’s point that the city council ought to make the data more readily available, and this voluntary work by local bloggers is a bonus.

  5. Actually, I will extend the map into the area the other side of the Bristol Road – it shouldn’t take too much time (though I suspect we’ll have a thaw by the time it happens).

    But the key issue here is that the City has all this info. And the data that info is built on should be made available. If it was then it would take little more than a few clicks (he say optimistically) to translate it into a map that any local blog could make use of.

  6. I agree about freeing up the data. And clearly Dave has spent time translating the info into a visual and more usable form. And it is very useful. It should be easier – in my view not only should it be available for use but the Council ought to be publishing this kind of info as a matter of course.

    I don’t think I agree with Hannah on areas though and this brings up the issue of hyperlocal and what that means and how it relates to communities. On the simple point of this data Dave has already included Stirchley and other areas which may be in the Ward but certainly are not in what i would call Bournville.

    In my view Ward boundaries are not always a good match with actual communities. In my case a Weoley Ward blog would not have much traction as Weoley Ward’s boundaries don’t correspond with meaningful communities. A blog for Weoley Castle might make sense but I don’t feel part of that community and I would guess that others locally don’t either. I used to be involved with Weoley Hill Village Council which is one of the resident/tenant groups within BVT. That covers the mainly 30s part of the BVT Estate this side of the Bristol Road but not Shenley.

    I guess a blog for Weoley Hill would be possible but because it is almost completely residential with only a church and a handful of shops I don’t think it would work that well.

    I think the best approach to local blogs is to be flexible and go with what might make sense to people and communities. My speculation, for instance, is that most people in Weoley Hill feel more part of Bournville that they do of Weoley Castle or Selly Oak. In practical terms we have to deal with BVT and the issues there are common for many tenants and residents across Weoley Hill, Bournville and Shenley for instance. To me it doesn’t make a lot of sense to fragment the communication. And looking ahead if hyperlocal sites start getting more advertising then either some will get much less (ie Weoley Hill) or have to pull advertising in from outside their area. This already happens with WH Village News.

    And going back to the gritty data my guess would be that no one will want to have to check a hyperlocal site for every Ward when considering a journey through Brum.

    I am happy to put in some voluntary time myself but I see that time as best spent contributing to blogs I already have a connection with rather than starting another one so I am contributing to Harborne Mile as I was brought up there and still visit and shop there. And I have offered through Dave to contribute to this Bournville blog as I live on the BVT Estate and spend shopping and leisure time in Bournville (however you define that) as well as having friends and family connections in the area.

  7. That’s great Dave! Throws up some interesting anomalies – why is the main No 11 route not a No 1 priority for instance. Probably explains why it all goes Pete Tong often if only the Bristol Road is Priority 1.

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