Vehicles could be banned from taking through-trips across Birmingham as part of plans to reduce congestion and pollution in the Midlands city.
As part of Birmingham City Council’s draft Transport Plan, it said the way that traffic flows through the city centre “will be remodelled to discourage through trips by private vehicles without impacting on service vehicles.”
The draft whitepaper adds that vehicles would be able to drive into the city centre but would have to go onto a ring road to access other parts of the city.
Access will be maintained for logistics and service vehicles but freight journeys will be concentrated on out-of-hours periods, the document added.
According to the council, road transport currently accounts for 80% of NO2 emissions and a third of CO2 emissions in the city, with the Transport Plan adding that the new process of allocating road space will “concentrate on prioritising modes of travel that deliver the most benefit in terms of supporting growth, expanding accessibility and creating healthy, safe environments” and that “alternative cleaner fuels will become the norm to support air quality and climate change.”
The report said congestion caused by cars results in delayed public transport journeys and reduces the flow of freight and commercial vehicles “vital to the day-to-day business life of Birmingham”, adding that buses are Birmingham’s most heavily used form of public transport “but journey times can be unpredictable and passenger levels have been falling” as a result.
In the document, Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for Transport and the Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “Over-dependence on private cars is bad for the health of ourselves and our families, bad for our communities and bad for business as measured by the millions of pounds of lost productivity caused by congestion. 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.”