Transport
23 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Car2Go all over Birmingham back in 2013 to 2014

Car2Go was a car hire scheme in Birmingham during 2013 to 2014. Using SmartCar's. With slogans on the doors such as "Brum Brummie" or "Free Parking" etc. Users could use an app which they would pay for the use. Use the GPS to locate one and drive around the City. Didn't last more than 12 months though. From May 2013 to May 2014. Was based on was on Fleet Street.

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Car2Go all over Birmingham back in 2013 to 2014





Car2Go was a car hire scheme in Birmingham during 2013 to 2014. Using SmartCar's. With slogans on the doors such as "Brum Brummie" or "Free Parking" etc. Users could use an app which they would pay for the use. Use the GPS to locate one and drive around the City. Didn't last more than 12 months though. From May 2013 to May 2014. Was based on was on Fleet Street.


Car2Go

Coming to Birmingham in May 2013, all of a sudden, there was these Car2Go SmartCar's parked all over the City. They were available all over the City. No fixed designation bays, just jump in and drive off. Free parking on any street pay and display bay (but sometimes parking wardens wouldn't know and would put yellow parking tickets on them). One off registration fee was £29.90 (at the time). Register once, drive anywhere. All inclusive price plans. There was different prices depending on how long you used them.

They were based in offices on Fleet Street, close to the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. But this scheme wasn't to last, and by the late spring of 2014, Car2Go pulled out of Birmingham, never to return.

 

JUMP IN DRIVE OFF

Date: May 2013.

Location: Woodcock Street outside of Sir Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre at Aston University.

Date: August 2013.

Location: Gas Street.

Date: August 2013.

Location: Alcester Road, Moseley Village.

Date: February 2014.

Location: Reservoir Road, Ladywood, on the walk towards Edgbaston Reservoir.

 

BRUM BRUMMIE

Date: May 2013.

Location: Woodbrooke Road, Bournville near The Valley Parkway.

Date: June 2013.

Location: Fleet Street outside of the then Car2Go offices.

Date: September 2013.

Location: Floodgate Street, Digbeth. Note the yellow parking ticket. Was it really free parking then?

Date: May 2014.

Location: Edmund Street. The last ever photo of a Car2Go SmartCar that I would take before they left Birmingham for good.

 

FREE PARKING

Date: May 2013:

Location: Corporation Street, in the Steelhouse Conservation Area near the courts.

Date: June 2013.

Location: Hazelwell Fordrough, Stirchley.

Date: July 2013.

Location: Lionel Street, Jewellery Quarter. Near the Great Charles Street Queensway car park.

Date: August 2013.

Location: Brunel Street. Near Brunel Street Car Park (now called Town Hall Car Park).

Date: September 2013.

Location: Bissell Street, Highgate.

 

HELLO BIRMINGHAM

Date: May 2013.

Location: Aston Street on the Aston University Campus.

Date: July 2013.

Location: Newhall Street, Jewellery Quarter near Newhall Square and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

Date: September 2013.

Location: Bromsgrove Street, Southside. Was close to Bristol Street.

Date: October 2013.

Location: Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston at Five Ways.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Green travel
17 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A walk on the Harborne Walkway back in 2016

A former railway line in Birmingham had been turned years ago into the Harborne Walkway. Starting from Harborne close to Park Hill Road, the route passes several bridges via the Hagley Road before heading towards Summerfield Park. I'd say it ends just after the Selwyn Road Bridge in the park. Although the paths continues towards Northbrook Street in Summerfield.

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A walk on the Harborne Walkway back in 2016





A former railway line in Birmingham had been turned years ago into the Harborne Walkway. Starting from Harborne close to Park Hill Road, the route passes several bridges via the Hagley Road before heading towards Summerfield Park. I'd say it ends just after the Selwyn Road Bridge in the park. Although the paths continues towards Northbrook Street in Summerfield.


HARBORNE WALKWAY

The Harborne Walkway forms part of the route of the former Harborne Railway, which had trains going from Birmingham New Street, leaving the branch line at Harborne Junction with the Stour Valley Line (Birmingham to Wolverhampton). The railway opened in 1874, with four railway stations at Harborne, Hagley Road, Rotton Park Road and Icknield Port Road. The line closed to passengers in 1934. The line remained open for coal to be carried until it closed for good in 1963.

Today the line is now of course the Harborne Walkway. It starts in Harborne at Forest Drive. It then crosses over Park Hill Road on a bridge. All other bridges, you can walk, run or cycle under them. Following along the Chad Brook (although you can't see it). The first bridge you walk under is at Woodbourne Road, then Hagley Road.

There is an exit / entrance to Station Avenue and Percival Drive. Which lead to Stanmore Road. Passing through Ladywood, the next bridge to go under is at Portland Road, followed by Rotton Park Road. The final bridge to pass through is at Selwyn Road, before entering Summerfield Park.

The paths split off in many directions in the park, but the route of the former railway line continues towards Icknield Port Road, then Barford Road, before ending at Coplow Street and Northbrook Street.

There used to be a railway bridge over the Birmingham Canal Navigations Mainline and the Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway line. But all that remains now is the brick buttresses.

 

Forest Drive / Park Hill Road

I did my first half walk on the Harborne Walkway from Harborne towards Hagley Road on the 5th February 2016. As I felt it was too far for me to walk all the way in one go to the end of the line.

First up a look at the Park Hill Road Bridge in Harborne.

Heading around to a cul-de-sac called Forest Drive, I followed the public footpath onto the Harborne Walkway.

The Park Hill Road Bridge is the only bridge you walk over. The other bridges you walk under them.

The views from the bridge looking down at both sides of Park Hill Road in Harborne. The Harborne High Street in this direction.

Beyond Park Hill Road, it leads onto Moor Pool Avenue.

The other side of the Park Hill Road Bridge in Harborne, as seen on the 13th March 2016.

There is an entrance path on the right from Park Hill Road.

Turning around, you can head down to or up from Park Hill Road from the path on the left.

Woodbourne Road

Coming up to the Woodbourne Road Bridge.

The Woodbourne Road Bridge from the other side.

Hagley Road

Coming up was the Hagley Road Bridge.

I exited here at Hagley Road, but would resume the walk 3 weeks later to complete it. Was a man running under the bridge, looks a bit like a tunnel.

20 days later on the 25th February 2016, I headed back to the Hagley Road, to resume my walk on the Harborne Walkway. First up on the left was the exit / entrance to Station Drive and Percival Road. It leads to Stanmore Road.

Portland Road

Passing through the Portland Road Bridge.

It looks like exiting a tunnel under the Portland Road Bridge.

Rotton Park Road

Not too far from the end of the Harborne Walkway now. Passing the Rotton Park Road Bridge. From here it is a short walk towards the Edgbaston Reservoir.

Selwyn Road

The final bridge to pass under is the Selwyn Road Bridge, before entering Summerfield Park. I'm not sure why this section is fenced off, unless there is still railway sleepers here.

The open gate seen from under the Selwyn Road Bridge, the entrance to Summerfield Park.

A look back at the Selwyn Road Bridge from Summerfield Park.

Beyond Summerfield Park there is no more bridges to walk under. But there is a bridge on Icknield Port Road, but the exit gates are at road level so you don't go under that. The only time I went into Summerfield Park, I exited at Dudley Road.

The path towards Barford Road, now runs alongside the Barford Primary School football pitch. There is also a housing estate on the other side of that road, but no bridge.

The footpath ends at Coplow Street which leads onto Northbrook Street. There is the remains of a bridge on one side of Northbrook Street near the canal.

Northbrook Street

That day I did end up on Northbrook Street, so got to see the remains of the railway buttresses over the existing canal and railway line.

While the viaduct that used to cross the railway and canal is long gone, there is a lot of old brick walls that remains, but covered in graffiti near the towpath. Can see the BT Tower and Library of Birmingham from here.

First look at the massive red brick buttress that used to carry the Harborne Railway over the Birmingham Canal.

A Cross Country Voyager (Class 220) heads towards Birmingham New Street, it's last stop was probably Wolverhampton.

Of course the trains that would have gone on the Harborne Railway a century ago would have been steam engines, and not the modern diesel or electric trains we have today.

One last look at the large brick buttress in the middle of the canal from Northbrook Street. A relic of a lost railway line.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

 

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70 passion points
Green travel
16 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Voi eScooters around the City Centre

In the months before the 2nd lockdown, I was able to travel to the City Centre (when it was allowed), and occasionally saw the new Voi eScooters around. They are road legal, although some users did seem to ride them on pavements, or on pedestrianised roads. It's not just the official orange ones I've seen. Personal owned black eScooters have been seen all over the City as well.

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Voi eScooters around the City Centre





In the months before the 2nd lockdown, I was able to travel to the City Centre (when it was allowed), and occasionally saw the new Voi eScooters around. They are road legal, although some users did seem to ride them on pavements, or on pedestrianised roads. It's not just the official orange ones I've seen. Personal owned black eScooters have been seen all over the City as well.


Voi eScooter's

Voi Scooters users can download an app, and pay for the use of them. They are located all over Birmingham City Centre. Apparently anyone can use the, either a man in a suit or a student in jeans. They reduce noise and air pollution. They enable people to move freely in an urban environment.

There is a 6 month trial in Birmingham City Centre. I think they were to have a trial in Coventry but that was halted. I also found some none Voi eScooter's over in Redditch, Worcestershire.

After about a month, Voi put these pads on the handles, so that they can be cleaned after each use (due to the Pandemic and hand sanitising etc).

I wouldn't want to ride them myself, prefer to get the bus or train and walk.

 

12th September 2020 on the High Street (near lower Bull Street). Got my first photo of a Voi eScooter from my bus stop. Buses on the Stratford Road routes including the 2, 3, 5 and 6.

Earlier that day, I got a photo of a masked man riding an Voi eScooter through Centenary Square, outside of the Library of Birmingham.

16th September 2020 in Victoria Square. Graham Young of the Birmingham Mail on a test ride, stop as another guy passes him. He later wrote an article for the Birmingham Live, which you can read here: What happened when we tried to ride a VOI scooter in Birmingham city centre

You can find him on Twitter: Graham Young.

9th October 2020, heading down Hill Street, I spotted this eScooter. Close to Hinckley Street, and not far from Smallbrook Queensway. I was heading down to Southside to check out the latest B-Side Hip Hop street art.

On the 10th October 2020, saw this pair of Voi eScooter's near the bike racks on Eden Place. Close to Colmore Row and the Council House.

11th October 2020 from Navigation Street outside of Birmingham New Street Station, saw this trio of three Voi eScooter's. Not far from the Stephenson Street entrance to the station. The day I was going to see Van Gogh Alive at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Had just come down from Grand Central Birmingham.

25th October 2020 from the Bullring near St Martin's Church. This Voi eScooter at the corner of Edgbaston Street and St Martin's Lane.

2nd November 2020 in The Golden Square near Vyse Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Three Voi eScooter's, not far from the site of where the Jewellery Quarter Clock was until August 2020.

Bonus eScooter's in Redditch, Worcestershire

14th October 2020 a train trip to Redditch to see the John Bonham statue, when I saw some BIRD eScooter's in Redditch on Alcester Street. Similar in design to Voi, but a little different.

There was three BIRD eScooter's outside of the Redditch Town Hall.

 

It will probably not be until the 2nd lockdown is over that I will see more eScooter's around Birmingham. Unless I got out for a local walk, and see someone riding a black eScooter on the pavement (which is illegal, they should be ridden on the road).

I might be back in the City Centre week commencing 16th November 2020, for the first time in 2 weeks, so might see move Voi eScooter's when I'm in town.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Transport
02 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Advert changes to West Midlands Metro trams 19 and 32

A few advert changes on the West Midlands Metro trams. Tram 19 now has Marks Electrical (this was previously the 20 Years 1999 - 2019 livery). Tram 32 now carries a yellow livery for Brindleyplace (was one of the lime green OLA trams). It is almost a year since the first Westside extension opened, and you can usually see one or two trams at Library Tram Stop.

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Advert changes to West Midlands Metro trams 19 and 32





A few advert changes on the West Midlands Metro trams. Tram 19 now has Marks Electrical (this was previously the 20 Years 1999 - 2019 livery). Tram 32 now carries a yellow livery for Brindleyplace (was one of the lime green OLA trams). It is almost a year since the first Westside extension opened, and you can usually see one or two trams at Library Tram Stop.


West Midlands Metro tram 19

Seen during September 2020 from Caffe Nero was West Midlands Metro tram 19 heading up Stephenson Street past Costa Coffee with it's new Marks Electrical adverts. Saw another photographer stop with his bike. Anyone recognise him?

West Midlands Metro tram 32

Seen heading down Pinfold Street and onto Stephenson Street was West Midlands Metro tram 32 with it's new yellow Rediscover Brindleyplace adverts. Of course you can't yet get a tram to Brindleyplace. At least not until sometime in late 2021 onwards. They should be building the new Brindleyplace Tram Stop soon on Broad Street. Passing Ethel Street at this point.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Transport
28 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Railway 196 101 and 104 at Tyseley TMD

There is now at least two new Class 196 trains based at Tyseley TMD, the home of West Midlands Railway Birmingham Tyseley. WMR 196 104 was visible on the sidings close to Tyseley Station, while 196 101 was sticking out of the modern engine shed. More will be arriving in the next year or so.

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West Midlands Railway 196 101 and 104 at Tyseley TMD





There is now at least two new Class 196 trains based at Tyseley TMD, the home of West Midlands Railway Birmingham Tyseley. WMR 196 104 was visible on the sidings close to Tyseley Station, while 196 101 was sticking out of the modern engine shed. More will be arriving in the next year or so.


I noticed from the no 4 bus last week that you could see a Class 196 train from West Midlands Railway in Tyseley, as I was heading down to Acocks Green. So a few days later, I walked up from Acocks Green Village to see if I could spot them. There was two of them. Hard to see the numbers with your eyes, but got them from the photos. It started raining just after I got them, before I caught the no 4 bus to Solihull.

West Midlands Railway 196 101

This train was visible from near the entrance of the Tyseley Locomotive Works, and also near the entrance of West Midlands Railway Birmingham Tyseley (through the fences).

West Midlands Railway 196 104

This train could be seen from the Wharfdale Road Bridge near Tyseley Station. You could also see it from the Warwick Road. If you are lucky, you might see it from a train in passing (if it's still there of course).

If not getting a train to or from Tyseley Station, you can get the no 4 or 4A buses here on the Warwick Road. Also in walking distance of Acocks Green Village.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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