Birmingham City Council has revealed plans to stop private cars driving through its city centre, in order to help achieve its long-term aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
According to a recently drafted transport plan, the council intends to limit the ability of private cars to access the heart of Birmingham by banning “through trips”, as well as increasing pedestrianised areas, reducing car parking facilities and rerouting the A38 to an upgraded ring road.
Birmingham is just one of several cities looking to clamp down on private cars. In November, Bristol City Council approved the first UK ban for diesel cars, restricting them from entering the city centre during peak times, while Oxford plans to introduce a Zero Emission Zone, charging non-electric cars £10 a day to enter its centre, by the end of this year.
Birmingham’s own Clean Air Zone, modelled on London’s recently introduced Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), will be rolled out later this year.
In addition to limiting cars, Birmingham is planning a number of “big moves” to improve its transport networks. Road space is set to be reallocated to prioritise public transport and the city is also investing in improving its train lines. The arrival of HS2, scheduled for 2026, is the most notable new project of this type. However, there are also smaller developments, such as extending Metro services in Edgbaston and Birmingham Eastside.
In 2022, they will introduce a fleet of Sprint rapid transport buses, to help the city host the Commonwealth Games.