At a cabinet meeting on the 21st January 2020, Birmingham City Council agreed that from the 28th January, it will put out for consultation, a draft transport plan to limit the access private cars have to the city. Through trips would be prohibited. The plan is modelled on Ghent’s zone-centred traffic circulation plan of 2017. Birmingham’s measures are designed to reduce the “damaging” impact transport has on the environment and support Birmingham’s commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2030. The plan prioritises people over cars. It proposes:
- Limiting access for private cars to the city with no through trips, and creating a network of pedestrian streets and public spaces that are integrated with public transport and cycling infrastructure.
- Reallocating road space in order to discourage single-occupancy private cars.
- 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.
- 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: “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.
More information about the plan can be found on the Birmingham City Council website. This article from the Guardian gives details of Ghent’s transport plan on which Birmingham’s plan has been modelled.