20 is Plenty pilot consultation set to formally begin

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Formal consultation into plans for the first of four pilot 20mph speed limit area began on Monday May 26) ahead of a fuller roll-out across most city streets.

Under the 20 is Plenty scheme, approved by the city council’s Cabinet earlier this year, an area of south, central and east Birmingham will be used to showcase the project, with the rest of the city then expected to follow from 2017 onwards.

Suburbs covered by the first of the four pilot areas include all of Moseley and Kings Heath ward, along with Sparkbrook and roughly half of Springfield ward.

During the consultation postcards will be delivered to all residential and business properties in the pilot area, information and questionnaires will be made available in libraries and leisure centres and maps will be published online – along with an A to Z list of roads and their future planned status.

Additionally, there will also be five staffed exhibition, where anyone with an

interest can find out more information. The dates and times are as follows:

Saturday 7 June – Balsall Heath Church Centre, 100 Mary Street, Balsall Heath, B12 9JU – 11am to 4pm

Tuesday 10 June – Sparkhill Adult Education Centre, 477 Stratford Road, B11 4LE – 3pm to 7pm

Thursday 12 June – Kings Heath Library, Kings Heath High Street, B14 7SW – 3pm to 7pm

Wednesday 18 June – Midland Arts Centre (MAC), Cannon Hill Park, B12 9QH – 3pm to 7pm

Saturday 21 June – Chamberlain Health and Fitness Centre, 1 Belgrave Middleway, B12 9FF – 11am to 4pm

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “It has been proven in other towns and cities that the introduction of 20mph speed limits improves road safety and makes our streets feel safer.

“Making Birmingham as safe as possible for all road users and pedestrians is one of our key aims, and we also know that lower speed limits help make cycling and walking more attractive options, leading to less traffic congestion, better health, less noise, more social interaction and stronger communities.

“We do fully accept some people remain to be convinced by this scheme. The pilot will showcase the benefits enjoyed elsewhere and enable us to shape the best possible scheme for Birmingham.”

Broadly speaking, it is proposed 20 mph becomes the limit on residential roads in the city (where current average speeds are already generally below 30mph); the main A and B roads (which amount to approximately 10 per cent of all city roads by length) would keep their current speed limit.

Consultation on the three other pilot areas will follow in a rolling programme throughout the summer.  Full business cases will then be developed for approvals in the summer and autumn of this year, with implementation then taking place until 2016 before a report on its impact and further proposals for the remainder of the city in 2016/17.

Cllr Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills, added: “The best way to demonstrate the advantages of 20 is Plenty for traffic mobility is to pilot a roll-out across the city.

“I am delighted we are reaching that stage. This period of public consultation will give people a great opportunity to find out more about our scheme and to help us deliver the best scheme possible.”

Consultation for the first pilot area closes on July 4. Details of the consultation planned for the other three pilot areas will follow in the near future. To find out more, or to view the first pilot area consultation maps, please visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/20mph.