Our response to the Active Travel Inquiry report

Filed under: General

Today, Birmingham City Council councillors will discuss the report of a scrutiny inquiry that looked at active travel delivery in Birmingham.

We welcome the publishing of this report and back many of its broad, far-reaching recommendations.

Though the fact that the inquiry took over a year to conclude shows what we are up against. In many ways, we are no further forward than when we called for this inquiry in June 2023.

The report formalises what we have known for some time: our streets are unsafe, resources are constrained, delivery is slow, and communication must improve.

During its transformation, the Council must boldly address the challenges that slow down delivery of these critical schemes.

Since giving evidence to the inquiry, many parts of the machinery have changed which have introduced further challenges not included in the report. We have a new cabinet role, cabinet member, regional mayor and national government. In the coming months we will also have a new cycling and walking commissioner.

Actions must commence immediately and urgently so that the city, region and country push in the same direction at pace.

The report makes reference to challenging road redesigns with competition for space. Birmingham has too much road space allocated to general motor traffic and we expect the Council to fearlessly stick to its Birmingham Transport Plan commitment to reallocate a third of road space.

We are disappointed by the timescale attached to several recommendations. Recommendation three, for example, should be a rolling dashboard noted or challenged at every committee meeting.

Coming back to the inquiry’s recommendations in a year’s time to find that little has changed is not an option.

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Better Streets for Birmingham

Better Streets for Birmingham is a community group which campaigns for changes to our travel and planning infrastructure to improve the sustainability, efficiency and safety of our streets. We believe that through connecting Birmingham to reduce car dependency, we will make it a more pleasant place to work, live and play.