New bus lane enforcement cameras in Birmingham

Motorists driving in bus lanes on the Lichfield Road, Tyburn Road and Pershore Road after Monday 4 September 2017 will run an increased risk of a fine. That’s the date when new bus lane enforcement cameras go live.

Anybody caught driving in those bus lanes during September will receive a warning letter. If they are caught after 2 October 2017, they will receive a £60 fixed penalty notice.

Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said, ‘This isn’t about trying to catch people out. I want everyone to know exactly where these cameras are so that they keep out of the bus lanes, rather than having to pay a fine.’

Proposed changes to local bus routes

National Express West Midlands, which operates local buses, has started a consultation on possible changes to bus routes in south Birmingham. This could affect routes used by Kings Heath residents.

The rationale for the change is that journey times into the city by bus have increased dramatically over the past ten years. National Express argues that this has resulted in 4 per cent fewer passengers over the past three years.

More people opting to travel by car instead of by bus obviously adds to problems of air pollution.

In order to address these issues, National Express is considering a number of options including abolishing route 27 and arranging for it to be replaced by changes to other routes.

The proposals are outlined here. There is a link on that page to a survey relating to the proposals.

New transport proposals

A new Draft 2026 Delivery Plan for Transport across the west midlands has been put out for consultation. The plan has been prepared by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and is described as setting out ‘the schemes which will deliver a large amount of the Combined Authority’s long term transport strategy Movement for Growth’.

From Kings Heath residents’ point of view, one of the surprising aspects of the report is that Kings Heath is mentioned very few times. The proposed new railway station at Kings Heath is included (page 6) while the number 50 bus route is identified as a corridor which should be studied to ‘identify potential improvements’ (page 13).

However, the fact that Kings Heath is rarely mentioned in the document offers a possible benefit. One of the key factors appears to be that a number of transport ‘corridors’ are being proposed, none of which include the A435 (Alcester Road South and High Street, Kings Heath).

The Kings Heath Residents’ Forum (KHRF) has seized on this as evidence that the A435 should be downgraded and categorised as unsuitable for heavy through traffic. This would provide an opportunity to ban HGVs from Kings Heath unless they are making deliveries. Among the benefits of such a policy would be an improvement in traffic safety and a reduction in air pollution.

The KHRF will monitor the response of TfWM to submissions and, if necessary, make further representations.

For more information:

Main Transport for West Midlands website

Consultation draft document

Proposed transport corridors

Additional information

Green Travel Plan for Kings Heath – what does it mean?

Kings Heath High Street has been designated a Green Travel District. This means that the area is part of plans by Birmingham City Council (BCC) to reduce congestion and pollution caused by high volumes of traffic. Councillor Claire Spencer will explain what this is likely to mean for Kings Heath at the Forum’s Annual General Meeting.

Residents will have the chance to ask questions about the plan.

The meeting will also hear about feedback received from visitors to the KHRF consultation stall at the Farmers’ Market on 4 March.

The meeting will begin with the Annual General Meeting of the KHRF. Committee members will report on the group’s activities during the year. These include working with BCC on the Council’s strategy for road safety in Kings Heath, helping residents to get dumped rubbish removed and working with local councillors and council officers to improve the cleanliness of the High Street.

The meeting is open to all residents of Kings Heath.

Date: Wednesday 15 March 2017

Time: 7 pm to 9 pm

Location: Kings Heath Community Centre, Heathfield Road, Kings Heath B14 7DB

Birmingham Cycle Revolution April 2014 update

The Residents’ Forum received the following update from the Birmingham Cycle Revolution team at Birmingham City Council:

“The Birmingham Cycle Revolution aims to get more people cycling around the city; making Birmingham greener, safer and healthier. Over the next 20 years, we have big plans to grow and develop Birmingham to secure our position as a world class city. We have £24.3m to make canal towpaths, parks and roads more cycle friendly, and to launch city-wide initiatives to get people on their bikes. Investing in cycling will reduce congestion and carbon emissions, improve access to jobs and education, and improve people’s health.

Birmingham City Council and its partners have now begun to deliver the Birmingham Cycle Revolution, and we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on progress.

Improvements to canal towpaths and green routes across the city started in February 2014 and are due to be completed by the summer of 2015. The project has also started looking at “Local Links” to join routes from canal towpaths and “Green Routes” across the city. Many of these are already out local consultation, and more to follow this month, with the intention of work starting to create the networks from the start of this summer.

The project includes cycling improvements on a number of key corridors, including Alcester Road, Harborne Road, Bristol Road, Soho Road, Lichfield Road, Birchfield Road and Nechells Parkway. These proposals will be consulted on over the summer.

All these will help to provide safer, more direct cycle routes to encourage more people to take up cycling in the city. There are many other initiatives to support cyclists, such as bike maintenance schemes, free bike loan and hire through Big Birmingham Bikes, new cycle hubs and school cycling programmes, and we’ll be developing these further in the coming months, along with other new ways to get people on bikes.

Details of all these, the proposed route improvements and dates for the local cycling consultations are all on a new dedicated Birmingham Cycle Revolution web page www.birmingham.gov.uk/bcr – we’ll be keeping this page up to date with progress on all elements of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution so please do visit regularly. We’ve also developed a project leaflet which you can download.

We hope you will join us and encourage everyone in your organisation to get pedalling. We believe the improvements will be a huge incentive to get everyone joining in. If you have any ideas or ways you can support the Birmingham Cycle Revolution, we would love to hear from you.

For more information on the project, progress updates or how you can get involved please contact the Birmingham Cycle Revolution team by email at cycling@birmingham.gov.uk, tweet us @BhamCityCouncil #bcr or ‘like’ Birmingham City Council on Facebook.

With best wishes,
The Birmingham Cycle Revolution Team”