Every Monday to Wednesday in August, participating restaurants are offering a 50% discount (up to £10) as part of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
According to the government’s website, you do not need a voucher and you can the offer at the same time as other discounts. There is no minimum spend, but it is up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme doesn’t include alcoholic drinks or service charges (and please don’t cheap out on tipping hospitality staff, they’ve had it rough recently).
Below are the ones in Stirchley taking place…
1526 Pershore Road, Stirchley, West Midlands, B30 2NW
1425 Pershore Road, Stirchley, West Midlands, B30 2JL
Apologies, I chose to live tweet this so there could be some interaction during the meeting rather than make comprehensive notes, so what’s below is copied from my tweets – and some clarification or additional info, if remembered. I’ve also taken out all the references to my cat, who was very bothered that I was ignoring her and dinnertime to live-tweet this.
Presenting at the meeting was: Gavin Smith from West Midlands Rail Executive/Programme, and John Myatt from Birmingham City Council.
Stations have been designed around pedestrian access. They’re not designed to be park and ride because there’s no room – they don’t even want to encourage it with a small car park. “local stations for local people”
Turns out West Midlands Railway want to put fancy new trains on the fancy new line…these trains are currently under construction.
Want to develop new stations around the idea of community assets, rather than being imposed on the community.
Next up John Myatt from Birmingham City Council talking about integrating Hazelwell Station into the area. Their colleague Tim is also dialled into the meeting.
Talking about the Birmingham City Council transport plan and COVID-19’s emergency transport plan and how the Council doesn’t want to see people return to their cars and wants to encourage (safe) use of public transport.
talking about reallocating road space. Which is something we’re working on in Stirchley already (there’s plans coming, just waiting for them to be release).
there has been some concerned and Birmingham City Council are listening and things will be done in local consultation. They want to hear your views. They know they need to improve walking and cycling in the area…maybe a low traffic neighbourhood?
They’re after local intelligence (someone call Jack Bauer). They will do some data collection, but traffic counts are stopped at the moment and not a fair representation. This would’ve been an in person meeting / workshop but you know, social distancing…
Consultations galore! Before and after the station opens. They also want thoughts on the name (that fun again).
Ooh, Q&A come in via email. Station name is the first question, there’s a mixed response on the chat box. “Someone” (me) mentioned there needs to be wider consultation. Gavin thinks it’s interesting about the name. Shows not clear-cut but evenly split and interesting issues
Appetite for a debate. Formal consultation is to be recommended. You know I love a good community consultation (remember the dreamcatchers)
Q around if there is any plans for the trains to go beyond Kings Norton. A: Planning a timetable that doesn’t cause performance issues (we’re all aware of those, right)…ooh they admit to them. Gavin says no one wants to see the return of those.
Trains will terminate at Kings Norton for now, but they can’t say that will always be the case. In the longer term there is a much large scheme, Midlands Rail Hub, wants to unlock rail capacity in the area and introduce connections onto the former Great Western.
Ooh, reference to the Bordesley Cords. And then fun around links to Tyseley and link Moor St to Leicester and somewhere else in the East Midlands (sorry my cat miaowed and distracted me). This is no going to take place any time soon
Q: how loud are they? A: can’t give a precise measurement but they are the greenest and quietest form of diesel. They should be quieter than voyager and definitely quieter than freight trains.
So many questions about parking. One about parking restrictions on Pineapple Rd and local roads to prevent all-day parking? Belief people will drive to Hazelwell. Dads Lane Community Centre talk about impact of their users on two-hour waiting restriction and residents
Everyone recognises concerns around on-street parking, they’ll be monitoring habits in first six months to see how effective the proposed restrictions are. See if there is an inconsiderate / illegal parking and will (in consultation) bring in alternative controls.
Genuine belief that these stations won’t encourage people driving and parking to local streets, says Gavin. It’ll be tricky for people to drive and park at Hazelwell presently. Also restrictions will deter people driving in large numbers.
There has been an effort to “design out” people driving to the station. Plans haven’t changed, but nothing to say they couldn’t change IF people want to see them changed. Unlikely anyone will drive b/c you’ll pass another station to get there.
There might’ve been space at Moseley for a car park but they’ve deliberately not put one in there because they don’t want to encourage it. This is the same with all of the stations. They’re really pushing this line about not wanting to encourage people driving, it’s nice.
Qs around: More road stuff, something about road safety and something about a local #lotrafficneighbourhood and how this will be affected. Also about links to the station for pedestrians were to be reviewed.
Answer to this is a bit waffle tbh. Hoped to hold a workshop but you know coronavirus. Not gonna be a formal #lowtrafficneighbourhood but will be a high priority. Recognise safety, there will be more concerns and will hope to have more measures in before it opens.
Q: during lockdown issues in speed and concerns about this continuing. Could speed measurements be done now. A: definitely look at LTN for all residential areas across the city. BCC want city-wide 20mph zones. Central Gov said no…
Want to make it – and other residential areas, pedestrian and cycle priority. Want to discourage people from getting in their car for short journeys (unless you can’t, obvs). This would also be a wish for across the city, by the way. £4mill for the whole city, is not a lot
do believe there will be more funding for sustainable and active travel in the future. Very much something Birmingham City Council have talked about a lot.
Could the grass in the front of houses on Cartland Rd be turned into a small car park / what will stop people parking there. Gavin wonderfully saying no to the car park and enforcement will try to stop people parking on there. Someone give me a ticket book…
Oh wait, that was John. Gavin also doesn’t want to encourage people to drive to the stations either. Small car park is the worst of all worlds because it will encourage people to chance it. Not on the Agenda.
More Q: Could the trains be replaced with battery powered Metro trams instead? A: No, no plans for this to be a light tram route. It’s a heavy route, has cross country and south wales and manchester and freight traffic on there. SO no tram-train style thing.
Now going on about some sort of hybrid thing with battery and charging and something. Working with industry. As tech improves there could be opportunities bi-mode something-or-other?
Q:Will any acoustic fencing be put up to protect people’s gardens? A: Plans for fence to stop trespassing. Acoustic fencing is high, concrete, more high speed, not pretty…no plans can look into it. PA system can be controlled so work with residents around noise levels on that
Million Dollar Q…when is it going to open? Was supposed to be 2021, now 2022, could it be delayed further? Yep, because it is COMPLEX. Timetabling issues with Network Rail tricky, already busy network. Might appear simple, but really not. December 2022 plan – Christmas present?
Q around Pineapple / Cartland junction, which is apparently notorious for accidents…lots of questions echoed this. Traffic modelling indicates the station isn’t going to make much change to the risk ranking. They will monitor this and if changes are needed then they’ll do
Evidence doesn’t tally up / doesn’t meet planning criteria or something but they are aware there are concerns and they will work to make sure it prioritises walking and cycling and it is safe for people to do so
Q: Will middle platforms at Kings Norton be used for Camp Hill line trains? And will that mean the brickyard that it currently is be cleaned up? A: KN odd station, b/c platforms 2/3 not used. Plan was to use platform 4. Need to look at capacity at KN, working with Network Rail
This is something to do with signalling and re-signalling the station which is lengthy and expensive and would rather avoid if they can.
And with that it was back to councillor Mary Locke to end the meeting. She mentioned that both she and the representatives from the council and West Midlands Rail Exec would’ve liked to have a workshop, one was planned but couldn’t go ahead due to COVID-19 and the lockdown. There is a suggestion that there may be one at Dads Lane when possible. Still a lot to do and a lot to talk about.
I don’t know much about Stirchley Park, but I have been visiting a lot over this odd lockdown. I usually wander in after a trip to the supermarket or via the entrance between the baths and the library. It’s tucked away and hidden quite well – I’m always surprised by how many people I come across that don’t know it’s there.
Apparently, Stirchley Park was originally created from land donated by William A Cadbury in the early 19th century. Which makes sense as there’s a little plaque in the corner of the grass near the Bond Street entrance (straight ahead from this photo). According to Wikipedia, the park once had a competitive bowling club with a green and pavilion for the players too.
Now there’s a strange black wooden box in the corner of the park, confusing visitors who don’t know what it is. Sorry if this ruins the mystery but it’s a camera obscura, installed by local artists Hipkiss & Graney as part of their Dead Shrines Project. Find the eye-hole and see the park in a different way.
Did you know the first buses to go down the Pershore Road were horse-drawn…that would certainly liven up a rush-hour trip on the no 45 bus!
Considered Mischief, a collaboration between Heidi Murphy (from The Old Post Office) and Jonny and Dale (from Hipkiss & Graney and Artefact), are looking to make a tapestry of ideas for communities of the future. Through a series of workshops online, they’re asking Stirchley residents to imagine new buildings, energy sources, transport systems, ways of growing food and all kinds of new inventions that will help them design communities that are safe, sustainable and for everyone.
The workshops are designed for all ages as well as individuals, friends and families, and they’re releasing a new theme each week. Drawing ability is not important; it’s about fun, imagination and a nice big group project the whole community can work on.
Like a lot of you, I’ve watched the news and been worried for all sorts of reasons. And I’m not going into that, but one thing that did worry me with social distancing/isolation is how this would affect all the stores and events in Stirchley. For me, shops in Stirchley aren’t just about where I buy things, they’re also full of a lot of people I care about. I want to see their livelihoods survive and having watched the high street thrive, I want to believe it will weather the storm.
So below you will find a rather long list of all the places I (and many others) could think of and what they’re doing in light of the coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak. And also, mentions of any voucher schemes I’m aware of. It’s very rough and ready, so any typos are mine, and it is done to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. Things are likely to change rapidly over the next few days so I wanted to get it out ASAP.
The challenge of how to support businesses, the community and stay safe is a decision that everyone will need to make individually (unless the government calls a lock down). I’m not going to tell you what to do, other than to say that if you’re feeling unwell, please stay home and get yourself better.
All the places I could think of…
Akrams – open, dining in, takeaway – collection and delivery. See here.
Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse – still open, you can sit in, take out and they do delivery within 3 miles.
Another Space Yoga at Stirchley Baths – cancelled but are looking to do online.
Artefact – events cancelled but open as normal and have spaced tables further apart. Some interesting rumours about the quiz. Keep an eye out on @artefact_bham.
Ash Tree Pharmacy – open as normal
Attic – operating at a reduced capacity. They’ll also be bottling 660ml bottles of Ocean Drive and Blunt Spurs for takeaway and imminently delivery. Cans, bottles, merch and vouchers will be available through their new online shop.
Bakery 30 – aka the cake bit of caneat, but you can order cakes.
Bike Foundry – ‘solidarity in separation’ aka continuing to do repairs and sell bikes and parts for as long as they can but greeting customers at the door and taking the bike in.
Brum Brewery Co – open as normal. Statement here. Also they do cans and gift vouchers online
caneat – open from 10-2pm and offer takeaway food from the front door. There will be a mixture of hot and cold food available and a range of cakes and baked goods. Roast hogget (lamb) for delivery or collection on Sunday.
Cork & Cage – Reduced opening hours: Tue – Thurs 6-10pm, Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm. Plus this Monday they’ll empty their cellar and all bottles will be available; mostly lambic/sour, lots of rare and special stuff up for grabs, no limits, and 30-50% off most of it.
Cotteridge Wines – Until further notice the tap room will be closed, but shop remains open for take outs and Growler fills.
Couch – Currently open as normal with take away options. ‘Coucher’ vouchers available at the bar and will be online soon.
Considered Mischief is a new initiative which planned to launch later in 2020, but have brought things forward to run online creative activities for all ages whilst we’re stuck at home.
Inspired by Noel Fielding’s Twitter art club, Heidi Murphy (from The Old Post Office), Jonny and Dale (from Hipkiss & Graney and Artefact) have been planning workshops that you can take part in at home with whatever materials you have to hand. These will include small creative challenges which could be as simple as ”draw something green”, to a workshop series where all digital attendees will work together to create a new world full of weird and wonderful characters.