Response to the Leader

Filed under: Campaign

This response follows Councillor John Cotton’s reply to our open letter calling for funded infrastructure to be brought forward to 2025, not 2027

Councillor John Cotton,
Council Leader, Birmingham City Council

Cc: Councillor Liz Clements,
Cabinet Member for Transport, Birmingham City Council

Sent by email

16 June 2023

Dear Councillor Cotton

Thank you for your timely reply dated 15 June 2023. We are saddened that since our letter, a 12-year-old cyclist has been killed, and a woman and child seriously injured.

We welcome and look forward to the outcome of the comprehensive review of internal operations within the Transportation and Highways Department.

We also welcome the acceleration of road safety priorities, in particular:

We would appreciate clarification of your comments on infrastructure. We hope that you are saying that we need immediate action, and as infrastructure has a long lead time, we need other measures in place first. But infrastructure will follow. We are concerned, however, that it could be read as saying that the council won’t be building much active travel infrastructure.

With regards to your comments about our request to the Sustainability and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee, we are hopeful that the Committee’s decision to include it in their work programme this week would not put this at risk.

This request is intended to provide for much greater transparency, and better communications, around the status of schemes within the transport plan. We feel this would benefit both the delivery and quality of schemes.

On this note, we would like to request a meeting with you, Councillor Clements and Phil Edwards to gain a greater understanding of the steps within a scheme’s delivery. We would prefer this to take place in the early afternoon of Thursday 29 June and ask that it be prioritised in your diary.

We would like to take this opportunity to underline the importance of the Council challenging itself to deliver at a faster pace, as it is demonstrating by bringing forward road safety measures.

Our challenge to the Council remains clear: 2025, not 2027. For every scheme, the question should be asked: within the challenges and constraints, what can we do to speed this critical intervention up?

We will continue to be critical friends with, and constructively challenge, the Council as it undertakes the transformation of mobility around our city. We are excited to see plans translate to delivery, providing better streets for all of Birmingham.

We look forward to meeting you.

Kind regards

Martin Price and Mat MacDonald, Co-chairs,
Better Streets for Birmingham

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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.