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LOW TRAFFIC: Kings Heath car traffic plans published

LOW TRAFFIC: Kings Heath car traffic plans published

York Road, Kings Heath before the measures were put in place, Image: Google Streetview

Expanded plans intended to make it “harder” for cars to drive through Kings Heath have been unveiled – for each side of the high street.

The low-traffic neighbourhoods in Kings Heath and Moseley were put in place by Birmingham City Council last year with the intention of prioritising cycling and walking and improving air quality.

The schemes – including the partial closing off of York Road to car traffic – have divided opinion, with some arguing the measures have pushed pollution to other parts of the wards.

Now, the city council has launched a consultation offering two potential scenarios for each of the sides of Kings Heath High Street.

Option A offers a similar layout for the west side of the high street as is currently in place, with modal filters to limit traffic in place at access points to residential areas – split into “cells” in the plans.

Kings Heath Option A

Option A - Kings Heath Places for People consultation, Birmingham City Council

Option B removes modal filters from Station Road and Grange Road at the junction with York Road – placing filters instead at Grange Road where it meets South Road as well as Balaclava Road.

The modal filters at York Road are included in both options.

The other two options propose changes to the east side of the high street, with both including more modal filters at the entrances to School Road than are currently in place.

Kings Heath Option B

Option B, Image: Birmingham City Council

Option C suggests “traffic-calming measures” along Billesley Lane – the form of which are yet to be decided – while Option D suggests a cycle route along the same road.

Kings Heath Option C

Option C, Image: Birmingham City Council

Options C and D have differing plans for one-way systems at Poplar Road, Valentine Road, Heathfield Road, Institute Road, Melton Road and Gaddesby Road.

Both options C and D suggest a bus gate at Addison Road between Goldsmith Road and Gaddesby Road.

Kings Heath Option D

Option D, Image: Birmingham City Coincil

The council consultation page states: “Places for People in Kings Heath and Moseley aims to reduce traffic in residential neighbourhoods so that it is safer for people to walk and cycle, and nicer to be outside for children to play and neighbours to chat.

“In many parts of Birmingham, residents find their streets are busy with traffic, particularly when people are taking short cuts to avoid main roads.

“When traffic is reduced the neighbourhood becomes quieter, the air is cleaner, and streets feel safer.

“The principle of Places for People is that residents can continue to drive onto their street, have visitors, get deliveries, etc, but it is made harder to drive straight through the area.

“We would like to know which of each you prefer and what you like and dislike about them.

“This is not a consultation on whether the Places for People project should go ahead, it is about finding the best design for the next stage of the project.”

Cabinet member for transport and environment Cllr Waseem Zaffar (Lab, Lozells) said: “Last year was really challenging for us and our city.

“Lockdown restrictions meant we were unable to do consultation in the usual way, and I recognise that some people felt that as a result their views were not heard.

“What has been very apparent from the feedback we received last year, is that congestion and speeding on minor roads are important issues that local people feel strongly about, and Places for People is designed to tackle this. I’m really looking forward to going back out into the community and hear their views.

“We want this scheme to work for everyone in the area, to create healthier, safer and better-connected neighbourhoods.”

The council has said detailed designs for both sides of Kings Heath High Street will be created and put in place in early 2022 under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) following the consultation.

The consultation runs until November 5 and can be accessed at: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/kingsheathpfp/

 

Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Demcoracy Reporter


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