Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

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Bryn666
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Bryn666 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:20

WHBM wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:49
The "nothing across Birmingham centre" approach is, strangely, not the first time for them. The city tramway system, I think uniquely for Britain, had the usual series of radial routes into the centre, but they would terminate there, and slightly on the periphery, so not quite touching. You can get the idea from this map of their tramways at maximum extent in the 1930s

http://tundria.com/trams/GBR/Birmingham-1930.php

When replaced by buses, they followed a similar "not touching" structure. There doesn't seem to be a reason why Birmingham transport developed in this different manner to other cities.

Regarding comparisons to Ghent, that is really inappropriate, as not only is it a far smaller city but it has not one but two circumferential main roads, the R4 and the R40, the inner R40 one sufficiently close in that you can probably walk to it/see it from much of the centre. It is only within this that a series of no through road cul-de-sacs have been formed, principally by making some canal bridges pedestrian only. Notably, these roads penetrating inside the inner ring seem to lead principally to an array of pleasantly integrated underground car parks. https://www.google.com/maps/@51.0530087 ... 312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.0537361 ... 312!8i6656
But it is not impossible to up-scale this. Birmingham city centre fits quite comfortably into the R40 - in fact, the R40 is actually bigger than the Manchester/Salford Inner Ring Road where people also claim it is "impossible" to restrict movements within.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Big L » Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:28

Digging down to connect the St Chads and Paradise Circus underpasses would be hugely beneficial I think. I believe there have been proposals for this in the past.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Chris Bertram » Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:30

WHBM wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:49
The "nothing across Birmingham centre" approach is, strangely, not the first time for them. The city tramway system, I think uniquely for Britain, had the usual series of radial routes into the centre, but they would terminate there, and slightly on the periphery, so not quite touching. You can get the idea from this map of their tramways at maximum extent in the 1930s

http://tundria.com/trams/GBR/Birmingham-1930.php

When replaced by buses, they followed a similar "not touching" structure. There doesn't seem to be a reason why Birmingham transport developed in this different manner to other cities.
Birmingham never had a single central bus station for all its local services. The Bull Ring Bus Station, which I have seen referenced earlier, was primarily the hub for Midland Red services, not for the corporation system. These services ran longer journeys to e.g. Dudley, Wolverhampton, Bromsgrove, Worcester, Stratford-on-Avon and so on. In its later years, some West Midlands services ran out of it, but they were former Midland Red services taken over by the PTE. Birmingham Corporation (later WMPTE) services ran from groups of stops distributed around city centre streets, so for example services heading west along Hagley Road or through Harborne started from Colmore Row, Bristol Road services from Navigation Street etc. You always had to walk across town to move from one group of services to another, though another alternative was the No 8 service, the Inner Circle, which did a full circle of town roughly at the distance of the Middleway. Why there was never a move to centralise around a single bus station I can't say, but deciding on the location may have had something to do with it.
Last edited by Chris Bertram on Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Chris Bertram » Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:33

Big L wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:28
Digging down to connect the St Chads and Paradise Circus underpasses would be hugely beneficial I think. I believe there have been proposals for this in the past.
Perhaps, but they're actually at different levels - the Snow Hill (St Chad's) underpass dips down a long way, whereas once you've climbed back up out of that to Great Charles Street, the Queensway Tunnel under Paradise Circus is relatively level. What might be beneficial is closing off the entries/exits between those tunnels, as they're very close together and cause a lot of horrible weaving.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by FosseWay » Tue Jan 14, 2020 14:41

Jeni wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:26
The best option is to attempt to rely on cars less, regardless of their propulsion method
This is probably the most sensible post in this thread.

Unfortunately its spirit is often contradicted by talk of bans on this, that or the other. Leaving aside exceptions for blue-badge holders, which I think everyone can agree are a good idea, I doubt that we can realistically reach a point where *every* conceivable reason for driving a private car in a city centre can be covered by some other way of achieving the same aim.

The vast majority of private car journeys currently made in large cities may well be avoidable with a mixture of better PT, better planning and a better attitude from the people concerned. I buy that completely, and I am in fact living proof of it - since starting work in the city centre here in 2016, I have driven to work precisely once, because I needed to drive to the ferry terminal immediately after work. But the vast majority is not all. A ban is total. Your mileage may differ regarding how fair or justifiable it is to prevent a small number of people undertaking a small number of errands where a personal vehicle really is the only option - hiring a car for a holiday away and needing to store it and pack it somewhere vaguely near where you live, or delivering a large object to your home, for example. But the fact remains that people do feel they need to do these things, and if you come out with a scheme that appears to threaten making their life difficult in ways that aren't solvable by other means, then you lose their support.

It is sometimes said that the best is the enemy of the good. Leaving aside the philosophical question of whether total bans on cars actually is the "best" outcome, I think there is a risk of this applying here. If heavy-handed schemes are introduced that turn people off, there is a risk that good schemes that achieve significant reductions in congestion, pollution and collisions will be stifled at birth.

I haven't examined the Birmingham scheme in any detail, but the headline information as provided by the BBC seems to suggest that it is in fact precisely what I am suggesting: it isn't a "ban" on traffic of a given kind, but it is set up to prevent/discourage certain kinds of behaviour, such as through travel, where those behaviours have clear and realistic alternatives, such as driving round the outside. This seems entirely reasonable to me. The problem seems therefore to be one of perception and, dare I say it, marketing. Someone upthread compared it to developments in Sheffield over the last 20-25 years, noting that a number of concrete-jungle dual carriageways, underpasses and huge islands in Sheffield have quietly been removed or downgraded, and traffic into the city centre has been restricted and discouraged but not completely prevented in those cases where it really is necessary. The difference is that this has never been promoted or described by Sheffield city council as a unified scheme with long-term strategic goals of preventing X amount of traffic in Y areas. It has just happened organically and people now look back at places like the old "hole in the road" and wonder how the hell they tolerated such rubbish back in the 1990s. Whether that was the result of a conscious policy or just failure to get it together enough to create a long-term strategic plan is anyone's guess!

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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Bryn666 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 14:43

Chris Bertram wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:33
Big L wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 13:28
Digging down to connect the St Chads and Paradise Circus underpasses would be hugely beneficial I think. I believe there have been proposals for this in the past.
Perhaps, but they're actually at different levels - the Snow Hill (St Chad's) underpass dips down a long way, whereas once you've climbed back up out of that to Great Charles Street, the Queensway Tunnel under Paradise Circus is relatively level. What might be beneficial is closing off the entries/exits between those tunnels, as they're very close together and cause a lot of horrible weaving.
There is a LOT of merit in turning the A38 into a through route with no exits/entries between Lancaster Circus and Holloway Circus. That would actually mean you had a through route that avoided sending everyone onto the Middleway but is also spared weaving problems. Everyone else would have to run alongside - which would be annoying and therefore discouraging.

If any tunnels are going to be closed in the future I'd reckon it'll be Lancaster Circus - the underpass is pointless now the IRR has gone.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by jackal » Tue Jan 14, 2020 15:41

I can't help but notice that Ghent has a near complete grade-separated ring road at an average distance of 3 miles from the city core. The equivalent (but given city size, far greater) traffic in Birmingham will be pushed onto the woeful Middle and Outer Ring Roads as well as residential ratruns. A Ghent-style plan minus the actual infrastructure.

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.0601364,3.727181,12z

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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Richard_Fairhurst » Tue Jan 14, 2020 15:58

I don't think we can say "it will" with such confidence. If you look at the actual document, rather than the BBC's clickbaity summary, it says:
• Different options for the central section of the A38 will be considered. This might include re-routing it to an upgraded ring road, meaning that vehicles on journeys passing through the centre of Birmingham would be kept clear of the city centre. This, in turn, would deliver:
o Improved connectivity because the A38 no longer acts as a restrictive barrier splitting the city centre and hampering growth
o Reductions in emission levels and consequential air quality improvements in the city centre
o A more balanced approach to maintaining traffic flows
o The freeing up of the central section of the A38 transport corridor
enabling a range of long term, future uses including green spaces, active travel and public transport infrastructure.
Note the "might" and "will be considered". There isn't much else in the document that is hedged like this. It's an idea that they're in the early stages of considering - no more than that.

Note also that it expressly talks about "an upgraded ring road", which implies they would invest to make it less "woeful".
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Chris Bertram » Tue Jan 14, 2020 16:21

Richard_Fairhurst wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 15:58
I don't think we can say "it will" with such confidence. If you look at the actual document, rather than the BBC's clickbaity summary, it says:
• Different options for the central section of the A38 will be considered. This might include re-routing it to an upgraded ring road, meaning that vehicles on journeys passing through the centre of Birmingham would be kept clear of the city centre. This, in turn, would deliver:
o Improved connectivity because the A38 no longer acts as a restrictive barrier splitting the city centre and hampering growth
o Reductions in emission levels and consequential air quality improvements in the city centre
o A more balanced approach to maintaining traffic flows
o The freeing up of the central section of the A38 transport corridor
enabling a range of long term, future uses including green spaces, active travel and public transport infrastructure.
Note the "might" and "will be considered". There isn't much else in the document that is hedged like this. It's an idea that they're in the early stages of considering - no more than that.

Note also that it expressly talks about "an upgraded ring road", which implies they would invest to make it less "woeful".
Not holding my breath. Upgrades to the ring road have been announced often over the last twenty to thirty years, but they somehow always seem to result in more traffic lights at flat junctions. A new flat junction with lights has recently opened on Islington Row, allowing right turns into Bath Row. Ashted Circus, a roundabout junction, was replaced by a light-controlled crossroads. Ladywood Circus, formerly a roundabout, was turned into a throughabout with, you guessed it, lots of traffic lights. The speed limit was supposed to have been raised to 40 all the way round about five years ago, that never happened, and in fact there's one stretch with a 30 limit and average speed cameras. The future-proofing for a flyover at Dartmouth Circus has never been used. In the light of this, I hope you'll forgive me a little bit of cynicism about promises for "improvements" to the ring road. (On the credit side, when I moved to Birmingham in 1983 it was not at that stage completely dualled. That was put right during the eighties, but since then ... well, read back what I have written above).
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Truvelo » Tue Jan 14, 2020 16:37

Chris Bertram wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 16:21
... when I moved to Birmingham in 1983 it was not at that stage completely dualled. That was put right during the eighties, but since then ... well, read back what I have written above).
When it was finally dualled in the 80's the newly dualled sections retained their 30mph limit in violation of the city's policy of having 40mph limits on dual carriageways of over one mile in length.
How would you like your grade separations, Sir?
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Chris Bertram » Tue Jan 14, 2020 16:46

Truvelo wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 16:37
Chris Bertram wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 16:21
... when I moved to Birmingham in 1983 it was not at that stage completely dualled. That was put right during the eighties, but since then ... well, read back what I have written above).
When it was finally dualled in the 80's the newly dualled sections retained their 30mph limit in violation of the city's policy of having 40mph limits on dual carriageways of over one mile in length.
Yeah, well that policy is long gone, with A38 Bristol Road and Bristol Road South's dualled sections being cut to 30 for no good reason that anyone can see (which is to say that the only thing that has changed is the speed limit). College Road (A453) lost its 40 limit a few years ago now as well. So I'd say the chances of the ring road getting any more 40 limits now is somewhere between nil and zero.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Berk » Tue Jan 14, 2020 19:41

Chris Bertram wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 09:21
Berk wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 23:19
I can’t really see why anyone would want to drive through the middle of Brum just because the A38(M) and A38 are there. It may have been possible for a very long time, but is it that direct?? Unless your friends or family live there??
Answer to the underlined bit - very much so. A comparable journey under free-flowing conditions (i.e. any time outside peak hours) either way round the ring road will take a *lot* longer as you get stopped at traffic lights or wait at roundabouts, in addition to it being a longer distance. There are now some pedestrian crossing lights on Bristol Street, but apart from that, the throughpass is free-flow from one end to the other, with no junctions that involve crossing at-grade.
I’m still not getting why it’s “quicker” to get to destinations further afield (e.g. Worcester, Kidderminster) by taking the A38(M) into Brum, and the A38 out the other side. You will naturally use the M5 for these (unless it/Ray Hall is rammed solid).

Unless, of course, your destination is actually a central Birmingham suburb just outside the CBD. 🤨

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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by M19 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 20:00

Ruperts Trooper wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:39
someone wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:03
A42_Sparks wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 23:51
This article claims that the plan goes further - by 2041 all petrol & diesel vehicles will be banned from using any road in the West Midlands:

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/m ... s-17544366
It is roughly twenty-one years since leaded petrol was banned in the U.K., over a decade after Japan did.

We already have electric vehicles, the idea that in twenty-one years time they will be affordable and usable (range, charging etc.) to make fossil fuel vehicles use unjustifiable seems pretty unambitious.
Apples and pears - existing cars could be converted to run on unleaded fuel relatively simply - petrol/diesel cars have been converted to electric but it's far from straightforward

Being overlooked though is the potential to capture and convert CO2 into synthetic drop in fuels. This will be excellent for any petrol and diesels that remain. Much better than trying to tax and ban people off the roads which sooner or later will meet a point of resistance.

As older dirtier diesel and petrol vehicles disappear, air quality should improve to an extent where bans needn't be necessary, at least for air quality reasons. We may even find ourselves in a situation where bans on the sale of internal combustion will become less necessary if we can run them with CO2 neutral fuels.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Chris Bertram » Tue Jan 14, 2020 20:14

Berk wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 19:41
Chris Bertram wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 09:21
Berk wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 23:19
I can’t really see why anyone would want to drive through the middle of Brum just because the A38(M) and A38 are there. It may have been possible for a very long time, but is it that direct?? Unless your friends or family live there??
Answer to the underlined bit - very much so. A comparable journey under free-flowing conditions (i.e. any time outside peak hours) either way round the ring road will take a *lot* longer as you get stopped at traffic lights or wait at roundabouts, in addition to it being a longer distance. There are now some pedestrian crossing lights on Bristol Street, but apart from that, the throughpass is free-flow from one end to the other, with no junctions that involve crossing at-grade.
I’m still not getting why it’s “quicker” to get to destinations further afield (e.g. Worcester, Kidderminster) by taking the A38(M) into Brum, and the A38 out the other side. You will naturally use the M5 for these (unless it/Ray Hall is rammed solid).

Unless, of course, your destination is actually a central Birmingham suburb just outside the CBD. 🤨
Nope, in my case a frequent journey is from home, a couple of miles south of the city centre, to Telford. The best route is via A38(M), M6 and M54, and using the A38 tunnels is usually optimal to reach the Aston Expressway. The ring road would add time and distance, as would heading out to M42 to do the longer circuit to M6 at Ray Hall. I don't suggest that a journey from, e.g. Worcester to Derby should cut through Birmingham, even though both cities are on the A38.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by vlad » Tue Jan 14, 2020 20:50

Berk wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 23:19
I can’t really see why anyone would want to drive through the middle of Brum just because the A38(M) and A38 are there. It may have been possible for a very long time, but is it that direct?? Unless your friends or family live there??
As I've already said, that's the route I always used to take as I found it the most straightforward. Leave the M6 at J6, follow a blue line into the city centre, then a grade-separated through route which takes you towards the southern suburbs. The other options all involve multiple sets of traffic lights that persuade you not to go that way.

I appreciate you wouldn't take the A38 if you were travelling, say, between Burton and Bromsgrove....
Does anyone drive through the centre of Manchester just to get to the other side?? :confused:
You never know. Currently Google Maps are directing traffic between Liverpool and the Etihad Stadium through Manchester city centre on the A57(M).
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by someone » Tue Jan 14, 2020 22:18

Jeni wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:26
The best option is to attempt to rely on cars less, regardless of their propulsion method
That is why I said "vehicles" and not "cars," because whatever alternative is used, plus the other necessary journeys such as delivery vehicles, also needs to be zero emissions.

I was watching a car park this morning while my dad was in the bank, the first thing to note is that it is a ridiculous waste of land just for twenty-two spots. But as much as some people want to claim how the car is necessary because of families and to carry their shopping, each car which came and went had a single occupant and the driver only had one bag at most. No one designing an ideal society from fresh would ever come up with such an inefficient idea as a car.

A lot of the time cars are not about necessity but a status symbol. They are increasingly bigger than they need to be, designed to go at speeds twice the legal limit, for people who think they are too superior to use a bus with the economically worthless people. If it was only about being able to work and do the shopping people because there is supposedly no other way then they would buy a car that is only big enough for their families, with the most affordable mpg, not massive 4x4s that barely fit in a parking space.

There is nothing wrong with personal transport per se and cars have their place, though that place is rarely in the place where these discussions are had. i.e. Birmingham city centre.

Last year my dad had a stroke so currently he cannot drive. Yet he is coping perfectly fine with the hourly bus to his village, including for carrying his shopping from the supermarket home on it. And as for those saying the economics of town centres are dependent on car use, after doing his shopping he walks back into the centre and goes to a cafe until the bus is due. Which is what we did today. When he drove he would go straight to the Tesco car park, then straight home after.

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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Alderpoint » Tue Jan 14, 2020 22:47

someone wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 22:18
Jeni wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:26
The best option is to attempt to rely on cars less, regardless of their propulsion method
That is why I said "vehicles" and not "cars," because whatever alternative is used, plus the other necessary journeys such as delivery vehicles, also needs to be zero emissions.

I was watching a car park this morning while my dad was in the bank, the first thing to note is that it is a ridiculous waste of land just for twenty-two spots. But as much as some people want to claim how the car is necessary because of families and to carry their shopping, each car which came and went had a single occupant and the driver only had one bag at most. No one designing an ideal society from fresh would ever come up with such an inefficient idea as a car.

A lot of the time cars are not about necessity but a status symbol. They are increasingly bigger than they need to be, designed to go at speeds twice the legal limit, for people who think they are too superior to use a bus with the economically worthless people. If it was only about being able to work and do the shopping people because there is supposedly no other way then they would buy a car that is only big enough for their families, with the most affordable mpg, not massive 4x4s that barely fit in a parking space.

There is nothing wrong with personal transport per se and cars have their place, though that place is rarely in the place where these discussions are had. i.e. Birmingham city centre.

Last year my dad had a stroke so currently he cannot drive. Yet he is coping perfectly fine with the hourly bus to his village, including for carrying his shopping from the supermarket home on it. And as for those saying the economics of town centres are dependent on car use, after doing his shopping he walks back into the centre and goes to a cafe until the bus is due. Which is what we did today. When he drove he would go straight to the Tesco car park, then straight home after.
Spoken like a true Londoner.

Unfortunatly the majority of the UK population are not provided with the level of public transport which is available in London. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO A PRIVATE CAR in the majority of the UK.

My son has been working tonight - he drove there and back. He left home around 3.30pm to start at 4pm, although he could concievably get there by public transport if he left before 2. But that would mean he'd have been able to spend an hour less on his college work before. He finished at 10pm. He's now home and has had his dinner and is in bed. If he'd been forced to use public transport he'd still be waiting for the train home (once an hour or less at this time of night) - and he'd still need to get home from the station which is a good mile away.
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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Berk » Tue Jan 14, 2020 23:03

Exactly - that could as easily apply to myself.

Another common feature of these sort of proposals: they all seem to envisage 24/7 restrictions, not just peak hours (7am-7pm), but all day, all week, and all weekends.

You’d do extremely well to get a bus or a train at the weekend in many parts of the country. Even if the city in question has lots of other services to other destinations.

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Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by fras » Tue Jan 14, 2020 23:27

Public transport in Birmingham has come a long way since I moved to the city in 1971, (I moved out in 1984). Brum really was Motor City. All my mates worked in the motor industry, even though I worked for British Rail, I also had spent a year with Joseph Lucas at their research centre in Shirley, Solihull in the late 60s as part of my university degree course. At that time I was a motorcyclist, and did use the buses for transport especially in winter. At this time the Birmingham Inner Ring Road tunnels were nearing completion. It seemed like a miracle that one could drive right round the city without stopping !

At that time the bus network was virtually as it had been after the trams were scrapped in 1953. At my lodgings in Hall Green, almost next to Robin Hood Island, the City buses turned round exactly where the trams had terminated at the city boundary which was just an arbitrary line on a map. The shelter for tram passengers was used for the buses ! If you wanted to go on a bus outside the city boundary, one took the good old Midland Red buses. Shirley was only about 1/2 mile further on on the A34 from the City buses turning point but you had to get there on Midland Red, Not Brum Corporation buses !! In 1969 there was still the Stratford Blue company with a route to Stratford on Avon, but that was about it. All the towns around Birmingham had their own municipal buses. Unless you knew somebody familiar with the City buses, it was almost impossible to find out where they went, as there was no information at all on the bus stops, and all the buses had on them was the suburban destination with the words "To City" and "From City" below. However, most of us strangers seemed to manage after a while.

All this started to change when the Passenger Transport Authority, (later Executive) was formed in 1969. Not much happened at first, but gradually the bus network was optimised and changes enforced by boundaries were eliminated. Conductors disappeared and everything seemed to be on the up and up. At the same time, train services started to improve, although this took decades.

Then it all went downhill with the Thatcher government that decided all planned conurbation networks and their management should be abolished and reverted to the 1920s free-for-all.

In 1984, having got married and with a new job, we moved out of Brum to Rugby and my viewing of the local transport scene ceased. However, with a job on BR, one is always interested in what is going on, and especially where one used to live. We have friends in Birmingham so do visit Brum quite often, a place that I remain particularly fond of; am I mad ? No I don't think so.

Since we left Brum there have been very significant improvements in rail services; the Longbridge-Lichfield line goes from strength to strength with electrification and more is planned. What has not really changed at all is the bus service. It seems to have moved forward very little, not least, I suspect because of the Thatcher 1986 Act. The Birmingham-Wolverhampton tramway, built during the Major government was built very much on the cheap, and it is only recently that extensions have actually been built. No more railways will be built so the tram will surely have to carry the work for the foreseeable future. This is going to cost lots of money if people are, (apparently), to be forced out of their cars. It seems to me that if Boris J wants to get improvements to public transport in our cities, finance has to be found locally, it cannot all be central government finance. The French already have what is called "Vers Transporte" tax on local businesses for the provision of public transport; maybe this is the way ahead. What happens in Germany I don't know, but their federal structure must make the provision of local finance easier to arrange without government interference.

In my view, real improvements can only be successfully introduced when the Transport for London model for public transport becomes available for all the major conurbations, and wasteful competition at the kerbside abolished in favour of competitive tendering to operate routes, with the controlling authority taking the revenue risk. Only when this is done can there be seamless ticketing arrangements allowing transfer between buses trains and trams with a single charge for the journey. In London, one just taps in with a bank card on entering a bus, taps in/out on the Underground and the bill for the day is on your bank statement the following day. The system adds up the journeys and when one gets to the day-ticket charge, no more charges are applied. Seamless ticketing is, in my view the key to increased use of public transport and at reasonable prices too.

Phil
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Location: Burgess Hill,W Sussex, UK

Re: Birmingham unveils Ghent-style plan to reduce traffic levels

Post by Phil » Tue Jan 14, 2020 23:43

Reading through this thread it strikes me that most people are completely losing sight of the key motivator for all this.

Put simply (and apologies for shouting but some folk still can't seem to get there heads round it)...

...BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL WILL BE HEAVILY FINED EVERY SINGLE YEAR FROM 2021 FOR BREECHING AIR QUALITY THRESHOLDS.

Forget all the stuff about not wanting through traffic to make the place nicer, etc. - they need MASSIVELY FEWER (Internal combustion powered) VEHICLES, regardless of whether they are in the tunnels (which will still spew out fumes from the ventilation kit) or on the surface and thus banning / discouraging people from making cross city journeys is pretty much essential to meeting the air quality limits*.

Discussions over electric cars and the suitability of the Middle ring, as valid as they are will do absolutely NOTHING to stop the fines from coming and sucking large quantities of cash from the City council that might be better spent on other things (including road improvements to the middle ring or public transport investment).

*Set by the EU but now interoperated into UK law post Brexit.

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