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Birmingham to limit private cars in the city

Words: Laura Edgar
Birmingham / Shutterstock_1111085399

Birmingham City Council has published its draft transport plan, which sets out its plans to limit the access private cars have to the city with no through trips.

This includes considering various options for the central section of the A38, such as rerouting it to an upgraded ring road.

The draft Birmingham Transport Plan is aimed at guiding future investment in transport so it serves more people, homes and jobs while simultaneously creating a better environment in which to live and work, regardless of age, disability or income.

The council explained that the measures are designed to reduce the “damaging” impact transport has on the environment and support Birmingham's commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2030. It wants to make roads safe, and ensure that people are better connected to job and training opportunities.

The transport plan prioritises people over cars, it added.

Four “big moves” are identified in the plan. Limiting access for private cars to the city with no through trips sits under the heading ‘Transforming the city centre’. This also aims to create a network of pedestrian streets and public spaces that are integrated with public transport and cycling infrastructure.

The three other big moves are:

  • Reallocating road space – The council wants to move away from single-occupancy private cars to support the delivery of a public transport system fit for a global city, fundamentally changing the way that people and goods move about the city.
  • Prioritising active travel in local neighbourhoods – Walking and cycling will become people’s preferred mode for travelling around their locality. A limit of 20mph will be standard on all local roads and residential neighbourhoods and local centres will be places where people are put first.
  • Managing demand through parking measures – Parking will be used as a means to manage demand for travel by car through availability, pricing and restrictions. Where development potential exists, land currently occupied by car parking will be put to more productive use.

Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “As a city, we have been over-reliant on private cars for too long and with more people choosing to live and work in Birmingham, we need to find innovative new ways to keep the city moving in an efficient but sustainable way.

“The more journeys we take by walking and cycling, the more we will improve air quality and our health and the more we will reduce congestion. For longer journeys, buses, trams and trains will be the backbone of a new, go-anywhere transport system.”

The introduction of Birmingham's Clean Air Zone, Zaffar continued, reinforces the council’s commitment to establish a zero-emissions city.

“On the ground, we have started to put things right through investments in projects including the city’s first fully segregated cycle ways, extensions to the Metro tram network and introduction of 20mph speed limits on residential streets.

“The Birmingham Transport Plan, once adopted, will continue to build on these strong foundations, future-proofing our transport system and ensuring that we are able to move around our city in a faster, more efficient way with cleaner air and less congestion.”

The transport plan is subject to cabinet approval at a meeting on Tuesday 21 January. If it is given the go-ahead, it will go out to public consultation from 28 January.

More information about the plan can be found on the Birmingham City Council website.

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