You Are Changing Sector: New Transport Plan Cuts Birmingham Into Six Parts
'You are crossing into the British Sector' said signs in Berlin, during the German capital's Cold War division into French, British, German and Russian sectors. Now Birmingham is also dividing into sectors, and direct private car movement between them will be limited.
The plan, which has already been flagged as potentially “infuriating” for motorists, will see walking, cycling and public transport prioritised in the city centre. Pedestrianisation could mean big changes for the central business district.
Beyond the central core, a new strategy will limit vehicle trips between the six central districts — the Knowledge, Jewellery and Convention Quarters, Eastside, Southside and Westside. The so-called ‘segment scheme' will instead redirect private cars onto the A4540 ring road.
The workplace parking levy would raise funds for the east-bound extension of the Metro tram lines.
Fewer cars in the city centre will mean less need for car parks, and the strategy envisages council-owned car parks redeveloped for housing, alongside the removal of on-street free parking where it exists.
The strategy document, revised to take account of pedestrianisation experience during lockdown, will be considered by the council’s ruling cabinet on Tuesday 12 October. You can read the document here.
The plan is part of a wider raft of measures, including a change to council car parking strategy, and an emissions charging zone designed to improve air quality.
The property industry has generally been supportive, whilst warning that too much change too quickly could destabilise a fragile recovery in the city’s economy.