Here's a fantastic website for searching for safe, quiet alternative cycling routes between any two points in the country. It's based on OpenStreetMap so the coverage for Birmingham is very good, and much better than Google Maps as it takes into account footpaths, cycle tracks, traffic levels, and even gives you a 'hilliness' overview: http://www.cyclestreets.net
I've tried a few of my usual routes to various places on the journey planner and already found a number of alternatives or small adjustments I can use, to make my commute that little bit less hellish and avoid some of the worst motor traffic blackspots.
Now all I'd like is a GPS-enabled version as an application on my Nokia... please? :)