Pershore Road Plan likely to be motorists and residents nightmare.

Read Steve's comments on the Local Sustainable Transport Fund proposals for A441 Pershore Road here:

Birmingham City Council’s Transportation staff are back at their old trick of ‘consulting’ on a major transport scheme during the summer months in the hope that the full impact of their proposals will escape public attention.

Yesterday (20/8/13) I went to see their ‘revised plans’ for the A441 Pershore Road at Stirchley Community Centre. Pershore Road is one of the corridors they have identified for changes which they say are designed to promote sustainable economic growth and the use of sustainable travel options such as walking, cycling and public transport. Implicit but not stated is the intention to make it more difficult to use a car on the Pershore Road which is one of our main distributor routes in the south of the city.

 I was interested to know what work had been done on the likely congestion arising for motor vehicles on the Pershore Road as a result of the reallocation of road space and how this might impact on the aim of promoting sustainable economic growth. I was very surprised to hear from staff that they had done no work and could produce no figures on the likely increase in car journey times on the Pershore Road as a result of these changes; I was also surprised to hear that they hadn’t factored in the new Tesco store in Stirchley as a major attraction for motor vehicles; nor did they appear to know that the Council’s planning officers are marketing the Arvin Meritor site on Fordhouse Lane for industrial use;  and there was no estimate of the likely loss of trade for small shops on St Stephens Road. In fact there was no evidence at all to show how these measures will result in promoting sustainable economic growth. It would be better if they came clean and said these are proposals to encourage buses, cycling and walking at the expense of motorists and local residents and small businesses. At least then we could debate their plans from an honest starting point.

The ‘revised’ plans remove the proposed ‘review’ of access into Hobson Road and Kitchener Road. Why is it necessary for our highway officials to use Orwellian speak in these proposals. The original plan was clearly to divert cars off the Pershore Road onto the adjacent streets to relieve the congestion that will result from the reallocation of road space on the Pershore Road. They have been temporarily withdrawn but if this plan is given the go-ahead in its present form, I predict the same council officers will be back with their maps and diagrams in 18months time telling the residents of Hobson Rd, Kitchener Rd, Fashoda Rd, Manilla Rd and Cecil Rd that unfortunately they will have to bear the brunt of a traffic management scheme (one way systems etc) to accommodate the congestion on the Pershore Rd. It’s just as well that one of the stated aims of the scheme is not to create a sustainable living environment because these proposals will have the exact opposite effect for my constituents living in that community.

They need to be opposed and the council needs to come back with facts and figures about likely levels of congestion, the impact on businesses, the calculations which take Tesco and other developments into account and the estimated convenience for local residents.

Steve McCabe MP


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