Birmingham looks to cut rat running to reduce car use

People in Birmingham are being consulted on plans to separate the city into segments which are split from each other except for the main ring road.

The council thinks it’ll improve air quality and help achieve carbon targets.

The scheme will see the city centre divided into a number of segments, each accessible from the A4540 Middleway ring road. The council says that, while cars will have to travel on specific routes, movement between the segments will be enhanced for public transport, pedestrians, and cyclists. It says the scheme is designed to prevent vehicles using the city centre as a rat run to other parts of the city, to help reduce congestion in retail and leisure areas and improve air quality.  

“Birmingham has some really exciting times things ahead as we move out of the pandemic and we want to attract people to live, work and visit here,” said Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar. “All vehicles will still be able to easily access the city centre and key locations, but by reducing those unnecessary vehicle journeys and rat-running we will improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. This will be key to creating a more attractive, greener, healthier environment for our residents and visitors.”

The council says the scheme will support its plans for improving public realm and walking and cycling infrastructure, as well as the planned £1.2 billion investment in public transport over the next twenty years. It will be funded using some of Birmingham’s £4m Active Travel Funding from central Government.

Some elements of the scheme have already been trialled, with temporary traffic changes in the Jewellery Quarter already in place. Council officers have been working closely with key stakeholders on the designs and already made changes based on feedback.

The proposals put forward for public consultation include making these changes permanent and introducing new measures in the Eastside area of the city. The consultation closes on 10 September.

(Picture – Birmingham City Council)

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