This is a summary of the response we put in to the LTP (Local Transport Plan) 3 consultation. The full response can be found in our downloads section.
Limited funding means existing resources should be utilised as a priority making the best use of our current railways, roads, canals and other infrastructure. Smarter Choices should be supported, encouraging people to use alternatives to private car use.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION DRAFT STRATEGY
There needs to be joined up thinking between spatial planning to reduce the need to travel and carbon emissions, and to ensure proposed development and economic activity are accessible by public transport, cycling or walking.
MAKING BETTER USE OF THE HIGHWAY NETWORK
Reallocation of road space to more sustainable modes, i.e. buses, rapid transit, cycling and walking should be undertaken. Public transport would therefore be more attractive, faster, more reliable, and reduce the number of single occupancy car traffic thereby giving more efficient use of the road capacity and reducing congestion.
MODAL TRANSFER AND THE CREATION OF SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL PATTERNS
Car parking provision should be reduced in locations where public transport is accessible to encourage increase in public transport, cycling and walking, shifting away from car use. Road space and parking should be reallocation and shifted to more sustainable modes of travel. Policies to make walking and cycling more attractive are supported. A major barrier to this is fear of traffic, so 20mph speed limits should be set on all unclassified residential roads in Birmingham City. Pedestrian crossings should also be assessed, making crossing the road less daunting and dangerous.
HIGH SPEED RAIL
We have concerns over the LTP’s support for the expansion at Birmingham Airport and for HS2 and the large amounts of resources directed towards them. Money should be directed towards local transport projects which benefit everyday residents’ needs, i.e. there needs to be a plan to tackle the congestion in the West Midland rather than these grand projects. There are also no plans to consider if HS2 is not built, which is worrying as it is a central plan. Furthermore, some of the economic benefits of HS2 are questionable, such as HS2 may not attract investment into Birmingham and the West Midlands and may suck the investment out of the region into London. If HS2 is built, the intermediate stations between Coventry and Birmingham should be used to maximum effect with a high frequency service. Sustainable modes of transport should be maximised and provision of car parking spaces should be minimal.
A single coach park/station on the edge of the city core e.g. near Millennium Point or St Paul’s Square would be useful as a drop off/pick up point as well as a coach park. Passengers could continue their destination using the bus or metro.
We disagree developing the airport is essential to the local economy. It may suck out inward investment and there may be a net export of tourism.
A RAIL AND RAPID TRANSIT NETWORK AS A “BACKBONE FOR DEVELOPMENT”
We support policies in favour of expanding rail capacity and making the most of the existing network and infrastructure. More use should be made to our local rail network by reopening disused lines, reintroducing local passenger services on freight only lines and enhancing existing services.
RAPID TRANSIT PROPOSALS
We question the need for a rapid transit system from the Airport to link it to the rest of the conurbation. There could be better use by building long passing loops on existing lines, where there is space rather than building an entirely new route. We support rapid transit generally, especially bus rapid transit as it is affordable, quick to implement and uses the existing road network. This should however involve dedicated lanes and priorities with space reallocated from existing roads and not added onto the side.
The existing bus network needs to be re-examined in the Birmingham area as they incur significant delays around the city centre, causing congestion. Buses should form cross city services running from outlying area to outlying area via the city centre. This would provide a more comprehensive network across the city with connections enhanced. Operators should look into the use of buses with multiple sets of doors, helping to speed loading and unloading at stops, and reduce journey times and increase reliability.
CO-LOCATION AND REDUCING THE NEED TO TRAVEL
Development should seek to reduce the need to travel by locating jobs and services near to where people live, making the West Midlands conurbation a large collection of localised sustainable communities linked with an efficient, high quality and affordable public transport system. District centres should be promoted for development to reduce the need for people to travel into congested city centres. Developments which encourage the use of the private car should be halted.
CENTRAL TRIP GENERATORS BIRMINGHAM/SOLIHULL
We question the premise of three trip generators in the Birmingham/Solihull urban area. This further centralises travel and entrenches their position as central trip generators at the expense of other smaller urban centres to be local transport hubs.
More information about the Local Transport Plan can be found here.