Birmingham cars to be banned from driving through city centre, according to new council plans
Private cars are to be banned from driving through Birmingham city centre under new plans to cut pollution.
Set out in a newly published transport plan, vehicles are expected to be able to drive into the city but would have to turn back out to the ring road to access other areas. Additionally, the city council is considering a 20mph limit on residential roads and rerouting the A38.
This would mean no private vehicles would be allowed to travel through the centre of the city, being restricted to only coming in and out from certain areas.
The proposals are being introduced to encourage better use of public transport, as well as cycling and walking. The news comes amidst the council being given a “final warning” to improve its air quality. The plans follow a previous council commitment to introduce a clean-air zone this year.
Vehicle journeys straight through the city centre will be banned. However, there will be some exceptions. Drivers will still be able to drive into the city from certain points so long as they drive back out using the surrounding ring road. The council hope this will force people to use public transport more, as city centre roads are pedestrianised and incorporated into the public transport network.
According to the proposal, the council is also looking to reduce parking by possibly redeveloping some of its car parks, and the A38 could be rerouted to an “upgraded ring road”. There could also be restrictions on lorries making daytime deliveries and the city’s tunnels could be exclusively reserved for public transport.
Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and the 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.”
Subject to approval by the council’s cabinet on 21 January, a consultation on the plan will begin on 28 January.