Birmingham Connected update - transport and travel news - 10 June 2021

The Clean Air Zone is live, and public transport is Ready When You're Ready

The Clean Air Zone is now live!

On 1 June 2021, the official launch of the Clean Air Zone took place and to mark the event, harmless smoke was emitted from the roof of the Library of Birmingham, representing the average amount of NOx that will be saved every 10 seconds through the introduction of the Clean Air Zone. Click here to watch the event.

Birmingham City Council has announced that from 1 June 2021 to 13 June 2021 (11:59pm) drivers of non-compliant vehicles will not be required to pay the daily fee. From 14 June 2021 owners of non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay the daily fee (unless a valid exemption is in place). If they do not pay this, the registered keeper of the vehicle will be issued with a penalty charge notice.

Make sure you, your colleagues, family and friends have:

For more information, please visit Brum Breathes.

Clean Air Day

The 17 June 2021 is the UK's Clean Air Day!

This year’s theme is ‘protect our children’s health from air pollution’, following a year of children’s lives being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with webinars, Clean Air Day 2021 resources are available for businesses, schools, parents and local authorities to take actions to reduce air pollution. Please visit Clean Air Day for more information and how to sign up.

Brum Breathes will be hosting an event on 17 June to highlight the causes, effects and solutions to air pollution. Birmingham City Council will be announcing details of the event shortly. For more information, please visit Brum Breathes.

Ready When You're Ready!

Transport for West Midlands has teamed up with operators including West Midlands Railway and National Express West Midlands to highlight how public transport remains fully operational and reassure travellers that their safety remains a priority.

Train, tram and bus services are safe, ready and waiting to welcome more passengers back on board following the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

That is the focus of a new campaign 'ready when you’re ready' launched last week to show that the extensive public transport network is available to be used to safely travel about the West Midlands whether for work or a pleasant day out.

It is linked to the wider Open for Business, Safely campaign which was launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority last month to support our local businesses and high streets.

For more information on how to plan your journey, please visit West Midlands Network.

Remember walking and cycling are also great ways to get about, stay safe and keep fit and healthy as we ease out of lockdown. Find information on routes in your area and top tips at Roll and Stroll.

Walking and Cycling into Summer

West Midlands Cycle Hire

The first bikes to be docked in Birmingham city centre and south Birmingham as part of West Midlands Cycle Hire went live on 24 May 2021.

The scheme had previously launched in Sutton Coldfield, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Solihull, Stourbridge and Walsall. All of the Birmingham and other dock locations can be found at West Midlands Cycle Hire.

Birmingham New Street opens cycle pod

Network Rail and West Midlands Combined Authority have announced the launch of a secure cycle pod in Birmingham New Street. Located on Hill Street, the cycle pod will be accessible 24 hours a day and will be monitored by CCTV. The pod will hold 46 bicycles and an adapted cycle space. Booking a space requires a valid Swift card and completing an application form. For further details, please visit West Midlands Network.

Bike Month

Love to Ride is hosting Bike Month in June 2021. Bike Month is a celebration of biking that aims to encourage and support you and your friends, family and community to get out and ride. By logging your rides on Love to Ride, you get all the benefits of riding your bike and go into the draw for some amazing prizes!

Love to Ride will give you all the help you need to get back on your bike or cycle more often. You can also set goals, track your progress, and get advice on everything from where to ride, riding with kids and commuting to work.

Register now for the Bike Month Challenge and let’s ride into summer.

The Bike Project

The Bike Project are asking people to donate any old bikes. These bikes are then refurbished and given to refugees and can mean the difference between a meal and transport, exercise and more.

Have you got an old bike to donate? Please visit the Bike Project for more information.

Walking Works

Walking Works is Living Streets’ programme for embedding the culture of walking into workplaces. Living Streets will work with workplaces to increase walking as part (or all) of the journey to work and walking during the working day by providing led walks, bespoke maps, online resources and pledge events. For more information please visit Walking Works.

City Centre improvements

Birmingham Eastside Extension

Main construction of the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension linking Digbeth with the city centre is underway, with works to construct a tramway junction at Lower Bull Street and Corporation Street.

To allow new track to be laid for the much-anticipated Birmingham Eastside Metro extension, Lower Bull Street closed to all traffic from 6 June. Access will be maintained for pedestrians and to businesses but buses that previously stopped at Lower Bull Street and outside The Square Peg public house (Corporation Street) will be re-located to alternative stop locations nearby.

  • Each bus stop will have clear signs and maps pointing towards the new stop locations.
  • Representatives from Transport for West Midlands and the bus operator National Express are on site to guide people around the new arrangements.

If you are travelling by bus to and from the city centre, please plan your journey. To find out more and check your own bus route and bus stop changes please visit West Midlands Network.

Digbeth Public Realm improvements

In July, the Digbeth Public Realm improvements will commence construction. The £15m scheme will transform Digbeth High Street into an attractive, pedestrian-friendly space, with major improvements to public transport, and a reduction in traffic.

The works will be completed as part of construction of the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension. The Metro will be realigned to allow for wider pavements, better cycle routes and increased cycle parking along the corridor. These enhancements will make the area more attractive for pedestrians and residents, increasing footfall, supporting future commercial investment and growth in local businesses.

Lane closures will be in place from when the work begins in July 2021, and as with any major infrastructure project, there will be some disruption. Every effort will be made to minimise impacts on traffic and reduce any disturbance as far as possible, and travel advice will be provided by Transport for West Midlands.

For more information, please visit Birmingham City Council.

Workplace travel planning

Congratulations to BBC Birmingham for achieving Bronze Accreditation for their Modeshift STARS Travel Plan - fantastic work taking action to support employees with greener, healthier travel choices & reducing air pollution.

Birmingham workplaces & schools can register FREE with the Modeshift STARS scheme and will be rewarded for promoting greener, healthier travel. With more people returning to the office, it’s a great time to get involved and help reduce unnecessary car trips. Contact connected@birmingham.gov.uk to find out more.

Competition open for low carbon community projects

The Centre for Sustainable Energy, a national environmental charity, is offering £100,000 to community groups across Birmingham to support citywide low carbon sustainability projects.

To apply, organisations should be not-for-profit and legally incorporated, and the funding is aimed at community based projects which use data and have defined and measurable outcomes to help reduce Birmingham’s carbon emissions.

For more information, please visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

Perry Barr regeneration

Perry Barr rail station

From Monday 10 May 2021, Perry Barr rail station closed for refurbishment for 12 months. Trains will not call at the station during this time. Please visit West Midlands Railway for information on season tickets, alternative travel options and station updates.

A34 Sprint works

Construction of new bus priority measures along the A34 in north Birmingham is ongoing. This will see bus lanes extended, junctions upgraded and new shelters installed between Birmingham city centre and the Scott Arms junction in Great Barr. This will form part of the wider Sprint bus route linking the A34 with the A45.

For full details on the Perry Barr regeneration programme and the wider benefits, please visit Birmingham City Council. For information and updates on current lane closures, including how to plan your journey, please visit West Midlands Network.

Have your say

Ladypool Road Improvement Scheme - consultation on proposed segregated cycle track. Consultation closes 11 June.

St Georges Parking: Traffic Regulation Order – comment on the proposed resident permit scheme. Consultation closes 14 June.

Highgate Parking: Traffic Regulation Order – comment on the proposed resident permit scheme. Consultation closes 14 June.

Wheelers Lane (Better Streets Community Fund) - consultation on the proposed crossing improvements at Wheelers Lane in Kings Heath. Consultation closes 18 June.

Wellington Road local highway changes - give your views on the proposed scheme on Wellington Road, Sir Harry's Road and Ampton Road. Consultation will open for comments 11 June and close for comments on 12 July.

Dates for the diary

14 June - Clean Air Zone - the charging structure of the Clean Air Zone comes into effect. For full details and to watch prior events, visit Brum Breathes

17 June - Clean Air Day. Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign. Visit the Global Action Plan website for more information.

18-25 June - Green Transport Week - Green Transport Week is a celebration of sustainable transport. For more information please visit ETA.

22-28 June - Love Your Lungs week. Join British Lung Foundation for the UK's lung health awareness week. For full details please visit Love Your Lungs.

5 August - Cycle to Work Day - Take part in the UK’s biggest cycle commuting event. Please visit Cycle to Work Day to sign up and get more information.

Article posted on 10 June 2021

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