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Birmingham weighing car-ban in the city centre


File photo
File photo

IN an unprecedented move, Birmingham is considering banning cars in the city centre.

The city council wants to ban private cars in the city centre and has suggested that the A38, which runs across the city, could be re-routed to become an updated ring road, said a recent report.

This ambitious plan is part of measures taken by the city authorities to cut emissions.

Currently, cities across the UK are hatching such plans.

Car parks could be knocked down to make way for more housing while 20mph limits would be introduced on residential streets across the city, reports said.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, while introducing the Birmingham Transport Plan, said: “The car is no longer king”.

“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,” he said.

As part of the go-anywhere transport system, authorities are suggesting buses, trams and trains for longer journeys.

A clean air zone is already due to be introduced in the city this summer, with older, more polluting vehicles charged £8 a day.

The investment will go into further expansion of the Midland Metro tram network and so-called ‘Sprint’ buses will be introduced, offering high-frequency services on popular commuter routes.

Further, car access will be restricted near schools, a measure welcomed by many staff and parents at Clifton Primary School in the city. It already encourages and rewards pupils who travel to school by bike or on foot.

Birmingham City Council suggests working remotely and shopping online could further cut the number of journeys made into the city centre.

Going forward, more cities may take a tough stand on fossil-fuel vehicles.