Filed under: Campaign
Update: Since sending this letter this morning, it has been confirmed that a child cyclist was killed yesterday. Raising the number of recent fatalities to four – two of which were children.
Councillor John Cotton,
Council Leader, Birmingham City Council
Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham City Council
Cc: Councillor Liz Clements,
Cabinet Member for Transport, Birmingham City Council
Craig Cooper, Paul Kitson, Dr Justin Varney and Richard Brooks,
Directors on the Management team, Birmingham City Council
9 June 2023
2025, not 2027: Accelerating delivery with a games mindset
We are writing following more incidences of road violence with two cyclists and a four-year-old child being killed, as well as two other cyclists being seriously injured.
We know that preventing road violence and improving air quality requires better cycling and walking infrastructure. This must happen concurrently with the vision for fewer cars.
In recent years, consultations have been and gone with a response time of years. For example, the Bradford Street scheme, Bristol Road (Selly Oak) enhancement scheme, and Places for People schemes are all now overdue for delivery. When updates are shared, the schemes have barely moved forward. We need an urgent and robust assessment of the Council’s delivery capacity, including for small measures such as Transport Regulation Orders.
We cannot afford to wait for new infrastructure. They are critical interventions.
We share the widespread concern that the delivery of funded schemes is not quick enough. We have listened to the capacity issues, but can no longer accept this as an excuse for delay.
While the Council has published several laudable and ambitious strategies and visions for a low-traffic future, we have seen that there is a severe operational constraint within transport project teams and their consultancy partners.
The Council was able to deliver collaboratively with partners before and during the Commonwealth Games. This Games mindset needs to be harnessed again for the delivery of our shared transport ambitions.
We cannot view funding delivery deadlines as implementation dates: they must be worst-case scenarios. Schemes must be delivered by 2025, not 2027.
We challenge you, your officers and your project teams to accelerate the delivery of currently-funded schemes to 2025 at the latest.
We have three initial proposals for how timescales can be reduced:
The Department for Transport’s ‘Once in a Programme’ rebaselining provides an opportunity to bring forward delivery timelines on City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) schemes and their associated spending profiles. This is outlined in section 10 of a report at today’s WMCA Board and needs to be completed ahead of September’s WMCA Board meeting.
Finally, we are writing separately to the Chair of the Sustainability and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee to request the inclusion of active travel schemes within the Committee’s work programme. This will increase transparency and provide more comprehensive updates on the progress of schemes and, ultimately, the Birmingham Transport Plan.
We continue to advocate for the Birmingham Transport Plan and have been impressed by future visions, schemes and strategies. However, this must rapidly translate to delivery.
We need our funded schemes delivered by 2025, not 2027.
Martin Price and Mat MacDonald, Co-chairs, Better Streets for Birmingham
David Cox, Chair, Pushbikes – The Birmingham Cycle Campaign
Denis Murphy, Birmingham Group Living Streets
Shivaji Shiva, Cycling Works Birmingham
Birgit Kehrer, ChangeKitchen CIC
Naomi Fisher, ROAM
Extinction Rebellion (XR) Birmingham
Michael Bryant, Moseley Missiles Cycling Club
Fabio Henriques, Biclas B12
Rob Anderson, More Than A Cyclist
Tim Wall, Cycling UK Local Representative for Sutton Coldfield and Erdington
Libby Harris, Birmingham Friends of the Earth
David Isgrove, Chair and Radley Russell, Vice Chair, Moseley Forum
Steve Halliday, Chair, Better Streets for Moseley
Huw Davies, Chair, Better Streets for North Moseley
Kevin Carmody, Chair, Better Streets for Harborne and Quinton