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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Highway Design and Technical Approval

image of designers at work

The Developer should normally design the highway in line with national and Birmingham City Council design standards and specifications in order to comply with legislation, good industry practice and highway standards. This process involves submitting drawings, calculations and other relevant information to the council for approval.

The City Council began a 25-year partnership (Private Finance Initiative, or "PFI") with Amey in 2010 to carry out highway maintenance and management services in Birmingham. In accordance with the terms of the partnership contract a copy of the developer’s design documentation detailing the technical proposals is given to Amey as soon as reasonably practicable. Amey will provide the Council with a commentary on the design proposals after checking these proposals against the PFI contract specification. The council will in turn discuss the design and the Amey commentary in relation to any amendments required.

A technical approval will only be issued when:

  • All design checks have been completed
  • Safety audit processes have been satisfactorily completed where required
  • Any additional or amended details have been supplied.

Manual For Streets

The Manual for Streets MfS, 2007) emphasises the overall importance given to place-making, and encourages the design of streets based on their function rather than purely the level of traffic carried. These principles are endorsed by Birmingham City Council although there may be instances where the Council does not see MfS applying.

The Manual addresses the context of streets and outlines the design process. It then deals with the principles and detailed issues of street design. The Manual is about the practical considerations of design and how practitioners should put their plans into effect. The Manual refers specifically to the needs of people with disabilities and although which is an important consideration in all schemes.

When published, MfS stated that its principles could be applied to busier streets outside residential areas. The companion guide, Manual for Streets 2 (available from CIHT), gives guidance on the how the MfS principles can be applied to busier streets, so helping to fill the gap in design guidance between MfS and the Design Manual for Road and Bridges (DMRB).