Here are the responses from the parties standing candidates in Birmingham for at least one local council seat. The responses are ordered alphabetically.
A Birmingham wide response was received on the 5th May 2015. Pages 14 and 15 of the Conservative national manifesto cover transport.
1) Do you subscribe to Birmingham City Council's new vision for transport, as laid out in the Birmingham Connected white paper?
Answer: Yes generally - however we have raised concerns about specific parts e.g. we would wish to put Metro in straight away rather than install Sprint buses then replace with Metro a few years later.
2) Will you support efforts to secure funding of at least £10 per person per year in Birmingham for cycling?
Answer: yes, provided the money is spend on creating more/improving existing off road cycle routes, cycle infrastructure (e.g. toucan crossings) where off road cycle routes cross roads and better lighting for cyclists/pedestrians along off road routes rather than measures which restrict road space for all other vehicular traffic thus causing greater congestion and air pollution in the environment.
3) Will you call for all pedestrian and cycle crossings in your ward to respond to the button press in under 10 seconds?
Answer: Yes – where safe to.
4) Will you call for 20 mph speed limits in your ward?
Answer: Yes – we have been campaigning for 20mph zones in Birmingham for years.
5) Will you promote the closure of residential roads to rat-running motor traffic?
Answer: Introduce the most appropriate measures of dealing with rat running motor traffic in residential roads in conjunction and consultation with residents of these roads, which may, or may not, include closure.
6) Will you support small projects in their wards to help create joined-up cycle routes for local journeys in your ward?
Answer: Yes – where appropriate.
This Birmingham wide response was received from Ian Jamieson, on behalf of the Green Party candidates across Birmingham. We have received individual responses from Green Party candidates as well.
- Parts of Birmingham City Council’s plan for transport are good and in line with our aims: we need a more comprehensive, better integrated public transport network including reopening and upgrading rail routes, better provision for cyclists, and road safety and traffic calming measures including 20mph limits where appropriate. We cannot give a blanket endorsement to the white paper. We consider HS2 an inappropriate development which will soak up huge amounts of public money and result in rising property prices in Birmingham as Londoners find it practical to commute to work from Birmingham city centre. The business case for HS2 has also been discredited, not to mention its effects on the countryside.
- Yes, in consultation with local residents.
- Closing roads may not be the best solution to the problem of rat runs - traffic calming measures may be more appropriate. We would consider this on a case-by-case basis.
- Yes, strongly support this.
The Green Party directed us to pages 63 to 67 of their national manifesto, which covers transport. They also cited the measures taken in Brighton where the council is Green led - introduced largest connected 20mph zone in the UK, with casualties falling by 19%; built a new cycle hub at the station; introduced the first 'floating bus stop' (in the UK?). They said that they have achieved almost a 9% increase in bus use over two years, an 11% increase in daily cycle journeys between 2009 and 2012, and falling road casualties, with 200 fewer killed or injured in 2013 than in 2011.
This Birmingham wide response was received from Albert Bore, on behalf of Labour Party candidates across Birmingham. We have received individual responses from Labour Party candidates as well.
- Birmingham Connected was endorsed by Cabinet on 17th November 2014 and sets out the Council’s long term vision for improving the city’s transport network over the twenty years and beyond. This is an essential element of supporting the city’s growth and development aspirations as set out in the Birmingham Development Plan. An enhanced public transport network and a shift towards more active travel is central to this. Many car journeys in the city are very short, just one or two miles and to accommodate the growth in people and economic activity the city must manage overall levels of travel, particularly by private car trips. An improved transport network is important to create an equitable, sustainable and healthy city where people have good access to employment, education and key facilities and also a city where transport does not impact on people’s health and instead higher levels of walking and cycling support a healthier population.
- Over the last few years Birmingham has been successful in securing unprecedented levels of funding to start delivering a step change in investment in cycling infrastructure and supporting measures. This has been from a mixture of national and local funding and totals an investment in the region of £60 million through to 2019. Beyond 2019 the availability of funding is not clear as there has not been a commitment from Government as to future levels of funding for cycling. The Council has committed in Birmingham Connected to continue to explore how to sustain a level of £10 per person per annum in cycling.
- There is not a blanket policy for pedestrian and cyclist crossing phase call times. In some locations it may be appropriate to have a 10 second or less call time. However, this will usually be determined on a location by location basis and will take account a number of factors including but not necessarily limited to traffic flow, traffic speeds and pedestrian flows.
- Following a City Council motion in November 2012 calling for the implementation of 20 mph zones and limits, Cabinet approved a policy for 20mph limits in residential areas and other appropriate locations on 17th March 2014. The implementation of 20 mph limits are a key element of the Council’s approach to improving road safety and encouraging higher levels of walking and cycling. The Department for Transport states that there is clear evidence that reducing traffic speeds reduces collisions and casualties. Collisions are less frequent at lower speeds; and where collisions do occur the risk of fatal injury is also reduced. Following a citywide consultation on the principles of introducing 20 mph limits across the city, three pilot areas were identified and developed. These comprise the entire city centre within the A4540, plus areas to the east and south of the city centre. These are due to be implemented during 2015 with a view to reporting on the impact of the pilot areas in 2016-17. The results of the pilot areas will be used to develop further proposals.
- Rat running can take place for a range of reasons; avoiding traffic queues, red lights, cutting journey times and so on. Where rat running is identified as a contributory factor to certain problems e.g. road safety evidenced through recorded injury accidents, the Council can look to employ a range of measures including traffic calming, lower speed limits such as 20 mph limits and in some cases the closure of some streets as through routes for general traffic. Clearly access for emergency services and maintaining good permeability for walking and cycling is a key consideration in the development of any interventions. Measures introduced need to demonstrate value for money.
- The Council continues to look for opportunities to deliver smaller local schemes to complement the investment through larger programmes such as the Birmingham Cycle Revolution. This includes the Walking Cities bids and DIY Streets work undertaken in Kings Heath. Wards do have discretionary budgets for use on local transport priorities and these can be used to support improved walking and cycling access.
No Birmingham wide response received. Section 6.5 of the national Liberal Democrat manifesto covers transport, including their proposals for cycling.
National Health Action Party:
We have received a response from Krystyne Mikula-Deegan, who is the National Health Action Party candidate in Erdington. In addition, page 42 of their national manifesto covers transport.
Patriotic Socialist Party:
We have received a response from John McAuliffe, who is the Patriotic Socialist Party candidate in Nechells, the only local election ward in Birmingham that the Patriotic Socialist Party is contesting.
Social Democratic Party:
We have received a response from Peter Johnson, who is the Social Democratic Party candidate in Acocks Green, the only local election ward in Birmingham that the Social Democratic Party is contesting.
Socialist Labour Party:
No Birmingham wide response received. Pages 18 and 19 of their national manifesto cover transport.
Trade Union and Socialist Coalition:
No Birmingham wide response received.
UK Independence Party:
No Birmingham wide response received. Pages 36 and 37 of their national manifesto cover transport.