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Author Topic: Birmingham to become a super-sized low-traffic neighbourhood  (Read 6088 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: October 05, 2021, 05:22:38 pm »

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Birmingham to become a super-sized low-traffic neighbourhood

Council plans to divert car traffic from city via a ring road while providing more buses and cycle lines

Birmingham has announced what it calls a “transformative” transport plan that will see the car-centric city becoming a super-sized low-traffic neighbourhood.

City officials hope that closing roads to through motor traffic, introducing a fleet of zero-emission cross-city buses and building additional protected cycleways will create a more liveable city.

With HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) infrastructure rising from the ground and Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games next year, the Labour-controlled council believes removing through car journeys will be essential for the city to prosper.

“We’re one of the original motor cities,” said Birmingham city council’s transport lead, Waseem Zaffar. But like other UK (United Kingdom) cities, Birmingham suffers from an excess of single occupancy car journeys, he added.

...continues
Source: Guardian
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2021, 06:26:05 pm »

Carlton Reid's twitter thread has quite a bit about this too.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2021, 06:37:22 pm »

... as has Joe Dunckley's

The question is: why does Birmingham make a big public announcement about adopting the Ghent model, while Bristol seems to want to obfuscate its traffic plan? It's almost like someone high up in Bristol City Council is scared of upsetting motorists...
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2021, 07:18:53 pm »

Bristol in my view suffers from an excess of political correctness, with the result that any measures to control traffic or pollution have to be assessed from the point of view of each special interest group.
"What about the poor" ?
"What about women's issues" ?
And others too tedious to list.

Birmingham by contrast seems to take a broader view that reduced traffic is a good thing and is generally beneficial to most of the inhabitants, despite the fact that it might be a backward step for some special groups.
You cant please everyone, but hopefully this will please the majority.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2021, 07:51:12 pm »

And others too tedious to list.

That doesn’t usually stop you.
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2021, 09:21:11 pm »

... as has Joe Dunckley's

The question is: why does Birmingham make a big public announcement about adopting the Ghent model, while Bristol seems to want to obfuscate its traffic plan? It's almost like someone high up in Bristol City Council is scared of upsetting motorists...

RS, have a look at some of the "outraged of Clifton" comments on the "Nextdoor" Bristol social network regarding the pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street and the "death of Clifton Village" doom mongering. Some comments on there would try to lead you to believe that the four horsemen of the apocalypse were currently stabled nearby.  It's in stark contrast to the reports I've read on Cotham Brow and the boost pedestrianisation has given there.  It's a funny old place, Bristol.
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 09:35:48 pm »

Cotham Hill, not Cotham Brow. Though Cotham Brow is definitely a hill, as is Cotham Road, but Cotham Hill is flat (apart from one end). It is a funny old place, Bristol, and must have been when they did the street names too!

Anyway, Cotham Hill is a fairly tightly knit community, as in the residents and traders cooperate pretty well. To the extent of holding a joint street party (more like a small festival) every year, which benefits the traders financially and gives the residents some fun. That might also be the case in Princess Victoria St, I don't know, but it helps explain the success of the Cotham Hill scheme.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 09:41:32 pm »

Cotham Hill, not Cotham Brow. Though Cotham Brow is definitely a hill, as is Cotham Road, but Cotham Hill is flat (apart from one end). It is a funny old place, Bristol, and must have been when they did the street names too!

Anyway, Cotham Hill is a fairly tightly knit community, as in the residents and traders cooperate pretty well. To the extent of holding a joint street party (more like a small festival) every year, which benefits the traders financially and gives the residents some fun. That might also be the case in Princess Victoria St, I don't know, but it helps explain the success of the Cotham Hill scheme.

D'oh and I used to live round the corner from Cotham Hill....many years ago mind!
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2021, 07:16:31 am »

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is scared of upsetting motorists...

Which covers a lot of local authorities, including those in Berkshire. I don't expect much in Reading before May, when they are all up for election for the first time since the creation of the unitary authority. Together with ward boundary changes might be a change from Labour control. Not much money in the kitty to sweeten the voters either. Local rumour that Tony Paige might not be standing this time.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2021, 09:47:31 am »


RS, have a look at some of the "outraged of Clifton" comments on the "Nextdoor" Bristol social network regarding the pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street and the "death of Clifton Village" doom mongering. Some comments on there would try to lead you to believe that the four horsemen of the apocalypse were currently stabled nearby...

I can imagine... wasn't there a mock funeral at some point?
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Reading General
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2021, 10:38:29 am »

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is scared of upsetting motorists...

Which covers a lot of local authorities, including those in Berkshire. I don't expect much in Reading before May, when they are all up for election for the first time since the creation of the unitary authority. Together with ward boundary changes might be a change from Labour control. Not much money in the kitty to sweeten the voters either. Local rumour that Tony Paige might not be standing this time.

I cannot see a conservative council in Reading providing any new measures that might be perceived as anti-car. In fact I cannot see anything changing if the council changes sides save for the addition of the box ticking electric car charging points. I find the refusal to believe that cars are a poor way of moving around a town or city in the U.K. frustrating. Space for people rather than cars is beneficial for all, perhaps it’s that equality that people are upset by and frightened of. Our towns and cities have been held to ransom by cars for years with the remove cars and business will suffer rhetoric, when this has been proved wrong everywhere. Think about the serious amount of space we put aside for them in Bristol for example, more than twice the space available for people.

The capital appears to be the only place that people seem happy to be equalled with everyone else for movement, most car owners wouldn’t dream of taking a car there nor complaining about how far they might have to walk. It is what I believe has led to our overly London centric railway system in the south, where service to london is more important than a service to a local town, another rail junction or even the next station down the line (Bedwyn to Pewsey). Anyway I’m ranting off the topic.

I’m guessing that the current government a hoping that the U.K. will just swap to electric cars/lorries/buses and we will not have to change anything about how we move around at all, or at least that’s the vote winner hoped for in our nation of competition among neighbours. That’s an awful lot of batteries, charging, and the mining and waste products associated with batteries not to mention the simple logistics of how on Earth cars will be charged when they are littered over every piece of pavement and grass verge around somewhere like Calcot estate for example. The car is freedom and status thinking really has to change and that needs to come from above, but above need to provide the alternatives first, the climate crisis really is going to be a build it and they will come type venture. Individuals can’t be blamed, for many it’s just the world they have been brought into, the reliance on the internal combustion engine has been our short long term solution for decades. Electric cars are part of the solution for people with disabilities in certain circumstances and rural areas don’t have much chance of changing how mobility is around those areas but in towns and cities the options need to be there for us to choose the right way to move around and reduce our future over reliance on batteries. Save the batteries for the most necessary application (ranting off topic again). We need streets for people in urban centres and singe corridors for public transport. Bristol, Reading, Oxford, Bath even bits of Swindon (I’m thinking the old town as the centre is pretty car free although still dominated by infrastructure for it) could be transformed into real liveable places with the removal of cars and these tarmac, people hostile collars around the centres.

Cheers
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 08:12:05 pm by rogerw » Logged
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2021, 10:53:11 am »


RS, have a look at some of the "outraged of Clifton" comments on the "Nextdoor" Bristol social network regarding the pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street and the "death of Clifton Village" doom mongering. Some comments on there would try to lead you to believe that the four horsemen of the apocalypse were currently stabled nearby...

I can imagine... wasn't there a mock funeral at some point?
It was a group of Cliftonians (Cliftonites? Cliftoners?) who drove a tank through the streets to protest against the RPZ back in Mayor Trousers' day.
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2021, 10:55:25 am »

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is scared of upsetting motorists...

Which covers a lot of local authorities, including those in Berkshire. I don't expect much in Reading before May, when they are all up for election for the first time since the creation of the unitary authority. Together with ward boundary changes might be a change from Labour control. Not much money in the kitty to sweeten the voters either. Local rumour that Tony Paige might not be standing this time.

I cannot see a conservative council in Reading providing any new measures that might be perceived as anti-car. In fact I cannot see anything changing if the council changes sides save for the addition of the box ticking electric car charging points. I find the refusal to believe that cars are a poor way of moving around a town or city in the U.K. frustrating. Space for people rather than cars is beneficial for all, perhaps it’s that equality that people are upset by and frightened of. Our towns and cities have been held to ransom by cars for years with the remove cars and business will suffer rhetoric, when this has been proved wrong everywhere. Think about the serious amount of space we put aside for them in Bristol for example, more than twice the space available for people.

The capital appears to be the only place that people seem happy to be equalled with everyone else for movement, most car owners wouldn’t dream of taking a car there nor complaining about how far they might have to walk. It is what I believe has led to our overly London centric railway system in the south, where service to london is more important than a service to a local town, another rail junction or even the next station down the line (Bedwyn to Pewsey). Anyway I’m ranting off the topic.

I’m guessing that the current government a hoping that the U.K. will just swap to electric cars/lorries/buses and we will not have to change anything about how we move around at all, or at least that’s the vote winner hoped for in our nation of competition among neighbours. That’s an awful lot of batteries, charging, and the mining and waste products associated with batteries not to mention the simple logistics of how on Earth cars will be charged when they are littered over every piece of pavement and grass verge around somewhere like Calcot estate for example. The car is freedom and status thinking really has to change and that needs to come from above, but above need to provide the alternatives first, the climate crisis really is going to be a build it and they will come type venture. Individuals can’t be blamed, for many it’s just the world they have been brought into, the reliance on the internal combustion engine has been our short long term solution for decades. Electric cars are part of the solution for people with disabilities in certain circumstances and rural areas don’t have much chance of changing how mobility is around those areas but in towns and cities the options need to be there for us to choose the right way to move around and reduce our future over reliance on batteries. Save the batteries for the most necessary application (ranting off topic again). We need streets for people in urban centres and singe corridors for public transport. Bristol, Reading, Oxford, Bath even bits of Swindon (I’m thinking the old town as the centre is pretty car free although still dominated by infrastructure for it) could be transformed into real liveable places with the removal of cars and these tarmac, people hostile collars around the centres.

Cheers


Drivers may be more inclined to reconsider once they realise that the Government of the day will need to begin replacing the duty & VAT (Value Added Tax) income from fuel sales as sales reduce/disappear.

I can’t really see any alternative to road pricing which will give some drivers a large monthly bill they din’t get at the moment. Yes, they currently buy fuel, but topping up generally on payday cushions the blow. I can’t see PAYG (Pay as you go) being an option fr road pricing…
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2021, 11:41:56 am »

...Anyway I’m ranting off the topic....

I don't think you're at all off topic, Reading General. This is really all about managing the transition from dependence on cars. The shocking thing is that it is taking so long for the penny to drop! Town planners and highways engineers have known for at least 60 years that towns and cities cannot be adapted to the motor car, but they have persisted in the belief that it is better to sell a lie to voters than to give them the stark truth.

In 1963, Colin Buchanan (author of Traffic in Towns, the bible of road builders) stated that if you took the whole UK (United Kingdom) roads budget, doubled it, and spent the lot on one city - Leeds - you could adapt it to accommodate 40% of the demand for car travel. To do this it would have been necessary to demolish the whole city centre and rebuild it above a knot of road junctions. It would not be possible to accommodate more than 40% of demand, because it was not physically possible to fit in any more road junctions. The alternative would be to expand Leeds into an urban sprawl covering much of what is now West Yorkshire.

Buchanan went on to say that the remaining journeys - the majority of them! - would have to be made by public transport, but then dismissed this as an area of interest stating that it would never be profitable. O brave new world that had such people in't.

In Bath, incidentally, Buchanan's plans would have destroyed about a quarter of the central area to accommodate 20% of projected demand. Here's what it would have looked like. The knot of roads on the left is centred on Green Park Station, and the black blobs are car parks:


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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2021, 12:26:02 pm »

Wasn’t a small part of demolition done for this plan in Bath?

Scandalous that plans like this did get built in some places. I find it incredible that for such a small island with many villages, towns and cities based on medieval streets that we chose the American model. I’m aware other European countries did this too but many places have realised that it was a mistake long ago and are well ahead (including cities in America) while we still press on with the dream. Don’t get me wrong I was as guilty as everyone else when I passed the test back in the early 90’s, when Ford’s were 100 quid with one years tax and MOT, but the realisation happened to me before that decade was up, and at that point I still didn’t take the car to the town centre as it was a burden finding somewhere to put it. I can thank my parents for instilling that in me. Now I have the attitude of simply make room for public transport regardless of space taken away from cars, be that parking or lanes. Make it hard work to move about in a car, however the argument that is becoming popular for closing streets to traffic is the emergency services access one. Which is odd as traffic by its very nature can hold up emergency services as well as continuing road repairs and motor vehicles colliding with each other. Then there is the argument that you couldn’t possibly have trams or the like on anything but reserved track, but you have to start somewhere and the idea of the transport like a tram is to largely replace that very traffic. No politician wants to face the truth with any of this as it’s bad for business. It’s a stand off where nothing changes. Keep dithering and hoping that technology will save the situation. This must be the first time in history where we are simply waiting for technology to get better to apply it, assuming it does that is.
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