Birmingham Connected bulletin - 6 April 2020

Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

For the latest information on Birmingham City Council's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the webpages at birmingham.gov.uk/coronavirus_advice. The Council is also sending weekly email updates, subscribe online.


Essential travel

With travel now limited to essential journeys, public transport is running to revised timetables. NHS staff can travel for free on bus and Metro services in the West Midlands and concessionary travel passes can now be used at any time, to allow older people to access priority shopping times at supermarkets.

We have suspended pay and display fees for both on and off-street parking, to provide key workers with more flexibility over where they park.

When making essential journeys, please keep your distance. Do not crowd at doorways to board public transport. Do not sit next to others where possible. Use mobile, smartcard or contactless payments.


Stay safe on the roads - Take Extra Care

Please help reduce the strain on the emergency services during the coronavirus pandemic by taking extra care when making essential journeys. If you are driving, please:

  • Always drive at an appropriate speed
  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Never use a mobile phone behind the wheel

Road Safety GB have created a campaign and toolkit you can download to encourage others to stay safe when travelling.


Stay well

As well as staying at home to avoid spreading the virus, it is important that you and your employees look after your overall health and wellbeing.

We recommend Transport for West Midlands' advice on staying physically active and the NHS webpage on looking after your mental health.


PPE needed - can you help?

We are asking for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by our front-line staff, care providers, social workers and volunteers who are delivering essential services across the City. Items such as disposable aprons, latex or Nitrell gloves, face masks, hand sanitiser, eye protection and overshoes would be appreciated.


Homeworking

Current circumstances mean that far more of us are working from home, and many organisations have had to quickly implement or step up their protocols and procedures for this. Now that systems are a little more established, we would encourage you to consider which parts of this new way of working could be continued longer term, reducing the number of commuter trips your staff need to make.

Transport for West Midlands have created a toolkit to help your organisation make the most of agile working, and you might also like to take some time to review or create your Modeshift STARS travel plan to include more actions around home based working.

Our team are all working from home and can provide information and support with travel plans; contact connected@birmingham.gov.uk.


Have your say on Birmingham Transport Plan and Digbeth High Street improvements

Consultations on the Birmingham Transport Plan and improvements to Digbeth High Street have been extended and now end this Thursday, 9 April.

If you will have trouble responding before that deadline, please email connected@birmingham.gov.uk and we will make arrangements to receive your late response.


Clean Air Zone

We have written to the government to request a postponement to the launch of the Clean Air Zone. This has now been approved, so the Clean Air Zone charges will begin no earlier than 1 January 2021. Applications for short term exemptions remain open. Exemption permits, if granted, will apply for a fixed period starting from the Clean Air Zone launch date.


Department for Transport papers

The Department for Transport have recently published two papers of note:

Creating the transport decarbonisation plan: document stating the current challenges and steps to be taken when developing the transport decarbonisation plan.

Future of transport regulatory review: call for evidence on micromobility vehicles, flexible bus services and mobility as a service. The deadline for contributions is 22 May 2020.


Have your say

Birmingham Transport Plan – consultation ends 9 April

Digbeth High Street – consultation ends 9 April

West Midlands Combined Authority Cycling and Walking Investment Plans – engagement ends 17 April

East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy – consultation ends 11 May

Future of transport regulatory review – call for evidence ends 22 May


Dates for the diary

29 April - Road Stars teacher training session (online)

13 May - Clean Air Cops teacher training session (online)

22 May - Car Free School Streets application deadline (extended)

10 July - Young Active Travel grant application deadline (extended)

Article posted on 6 April 2020.

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