Now Birmingham is waging war against motorists as the Labour-run council plans to turn the ring road into a ‘park that encircles the city’ and build 200km of walking and cycling routes to replicate Copenhagen’s ‘cycling friendliness’. imitate
- Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council leader, expects the plan to be well received
Birmingham will see part of its famous ring road turned into a park in an effort to put ‘pedestrians and cyclists first’ as part of the city’s ‘most ambitious plan in a century’.
Labor council leader Ian Ward revealed that a ‘roadmap to a greener city’ will be launched tomorrow – aiming to double the amount of green space and become ‘carbon neutral’.
On Radio 4’s Today programme, he said the ring road – opened by Elizabeth II on 7 April 1971 and running through the city center – will still be open to cars.
He said: ‘There will still be public transport and bicycle routes, but they will take up less space so that we can green a large part of that ring road and turn it into a park that encircles the city.’ Ward insisted that the 20-year plan was not a “war on motorists” and that the city would become as green as Vienna.
According to the plans for what Birmingham could look like in 2040, it will double its green spaces and build around 200 kilometers of walking and cycling routes, bringing it up to par with Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark’s cycling paradise.
Pictured: plans for what the city could look like after the implementation of the green plan
Ward insisted that the 20-year plan was not a ‘war on motorists’ and that the city would become as green as Vienna (photo: Traffic at Bordesley Circus, Birmingham)
“The plan we are launching tomorrow is a roadmap to a greener Birmingham, creating more jobs, better transport options and better, more energy-efficient new homes,” Ward told Radio 4 Today.
“We are already a city on the rise and we want to use the investments coming in to double the amount of greenery in the city, making us as green as Vienna, and to double active travel routes to about 200 km, which will give us bicycle friendliness on the same level as Copenhagen.
“This is probably the most ambitious plan in a century for the city and it will map out how we will become carbon neutral and how we will make our city greener in the future.”
Mr Ward claimed the council is attracting record levels of investment to the town.
He said they are working with developers and investors “to ensure that as the city expands to the underserved communities outside the ring road, the wealth it creates is shared with those communities.”
“We are also working on a new park in Birmingham, in the heart of the city centre, to create a green space – to make sure the city becomes more livable.”
Mr Ward claimed the council is attracting record levels of investment into the town (pictured: a design showing what the town could look like once the green plans are implemented)
He said the ring road will remain, but “because we are less dependent on the car in the future, there is an opportunity to make part of that ring road green.”
“So there will still be access for the cars, there will still be public transport and bike routes, but they will need less space so we can green up a large part of that ring road and turn it into a park that encircles the city he continued.
‘[The ring road] will be a completely different concept in the future.’
The council leader said the plans were aimed at ensuring that the ring road becomes a ‘green road’ that is more liveable and accessible to disadvantaged communities outside the city centre.
He said they expect the city’s population to grow by 150,000 over the next decade, and believes that if the council doesn’t get people out of cars and public transport, they will create a traffic jam.
Mr Ward said the plans were designed to make travel easier for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport.
He added: ‘This is a 20 year plan – so we will work with investors and developers and as we grow the city we will try to attract that investment that will not only allow us to increase our identity and create more homes . and more jobs, but also to increase the amount of greenery.
“The plan has been very well received after we consulted on it and we expect it to be very well received when we launch it tomorrow.”
MailOnline has contacted Birmingham City Council for comment.