A34 Perry Barr highway improvement scheme
Cabinet will be asked to approve the full business case for the A34 Perry Barr highway improvement scheme when it meets on 15 October 2019.
As part of this scheme, the A34 flyover will need to be removed. We have set out the reasons for this below:
With 5,000 new homes set to be built in Perry Barr as part of a wider £0.5 billion regeneration of the area over the coming years, we need to future-proof the transport infrastructure to meet the needs of an increased population. Therefore, doing nothing is simply not an option.
Improving air quality
We need to tackle poor air quality across Birmingham, including Perry Barr. One of the best ways to improve air quality on a route while moving the same number of people is to have a greater proportion using public transport rather than travelling alone in cars. This scheme will ensure people can realistically choose to make trips to and through Perry Barr by public transport, walking and cycling. An air quality assessment has determined that this scheme would be expected to deliver a local reduction in nitrogen dioxide by 2026.
More efficient road layout
To maximise the positive impact of the regeneration scheme, a reconfiguration of the existing highways network is essential, so the residents living in 5,000 new homes and existing citizens can travel effectively and efficiently.
Regionally recognised traffic modelling shows that if the flyover is retained, it would be impossible to provide the most effective layout to serve the new homes and the wider regeneration of Perry Barr.
Demolishing the flyover creates enough space to provide an efficient road layout, including signals and junctions, to accommodate traffic movements between the A34, A453, A4040 and the One Stop Shopping Centre. Retaining the flyover would prevent this from happening and would ultimately lead to an increase in journey times in the long-term.
Several alternative schemes were considered, but the operational performance of the alternatives was significantly poorer than the proposed option, so they were not considered further.
Two locally proposed alternatives were also reviewed, but it was found that the retention of the flyover in these options would be to the detriment of other traffic moving through the area.
In particular, movements to and from One Stop Shopping Centre would be heavily compromised. Both options would also be reliant on additional land being available from Gailey Park which is not available for highway development use and both would incorporate a large number of safety issues which the council would be unable to accept. Neither option adequately addressed the need for sustainable travel provision, as required by council policy.
Moving people rather than vehicles
We need to keep the city moving, but our over-reliance on private cars is simply not sustainable in the long-term, especially if we are to tackle air pollution. Therefore, we need to focus on the movement of people rather than vehicles. Removing the flyover will enable us to provide bus priority measures to ensure faster and more reliable bus journey times, as well as improved walking and cycling options.
The Cabinet report, full business case and associated documents can be read here.
This article was updated on 10th October 2019