What do we want our towns & cities to look like?
Across Britain we are seeing ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ (LTNs) blocking streets off, implemented by local authorities.
Having been ‘inspired’ by politicians that wanted to limit car driving, from London Mayor Ken Livingstone through to current Chair of C40 Cities Sadiq Khan, they are now being imposed in many places, and a comprehensive plan for Birmingham to divide in to seven ‘zones’ is in place.
The buzzword is ‘Active Travel’, which means less cars and more walking and cycling and Birmingham City Council has said “removing through car journeys will be essential for the city to prosper”.
Their scheme entitled ‘Places for People’ are is currently being piloted in Kings Heath and Lozells, with “early measures” being introduced in Mosley, Bournville and Castle Vale. Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes are currently being trialed in five areas of Birmingham with a new pilot due to be introduced this year.
Birmingham city council’s previous transport lead, Waseem Zaffar had announced “To convert people to cleaner and healthier forms of transport, the city, including the central area, will be split into seven zones, and rather than driving directly between zones, motorists will be diverted via the A4540 ring road”. Now Liz Clements Birmingham city council’s intention to make low traffic neighbourhoods already in place in Kings Heath permanent, and extend the scheme to Wake Green Road, Yardley Wood Road, Coldbath Road, and Wheelers Lane.
In other regions the term ‘Livable Streets’ is used, such as Islington Council in London which is proposing 70% road closures along with Hackney Council calling for 75% car reduction. Meanwhile ’15 and 20 minute neighbourhoods’ are being touted in several cities.
What does all this mean for local residents and businesses? Many are furious. Local shopkeepers from Kings Heath to Cowley Road in Oxford are suffering from the inability to have deliveries and customers declining. Residents, who have to juggle school drops, shopping in bad weather, visiting elderly and vulnerable relatives and those with disabilities have been very vocal as have those of faith whose routes to places of worship are impacted.
What happened to the idea of providing services to residents? Why has central government funded these? How much money is being made from continually fining residents? Why are ‘consultations’ often ignored by councillors.
Join us for a night of debate and discussion about what we think our neighbourhoods should look like.
Speakers will include local residents and businesses affected by these measures and the ‘Clean Air Zone’ charges, which recent press indicate 50% have not paid.
Together Birmingham is part of an active nationwide association committed to ensuring our democratic rights are upheld and not ignored
Ticket includes light refreshments