Seasoned campaigner, Tim Weller, writes about his personal views on transport improvements needed for Birmingham.
We must give the City Council an encouraging boot up the brum!  Human-induced climate change is a fact.  “The argument in the scientific community is over”, said Al Gore on the Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme in June 2006.  Worldwide peak oil production, when demand exceeds supply, is inevitable and impending.  Birmingham City Council is the biggest local authority in Europe and the biggest employer in Birmingham, the UK’s second city.  Therefore, its leadership trio of Leader, Deputy Leader and Chief Executive are extremely important people in the UK.
I think we must lobby the City Council for the following transport measures:

1.Agree restrictions on the car mileage claimed by employees, like social workers.

2.Bring in carbon rationing for officers and members.

3.Give a free monthly bus pass to all employees who use their cars on official Council business but who agree to park and ride from home.

4.Introduce a total and immediate ban on all air travel by officers and members of the Council and instruct train travel and video conferencing, instead.

5.Given that electricity generation is extremely wasteful, inefficient and carbon intensive, stop further development of Midland Metro electric trams that are replacing buses – and trains.  Metro extensions would mean that 77% of the first three metro lines would go on rail lines that should never have had the trains removed from them. Diesel trains have much lower carbon emissions than electric trams, so put back passenger trains onto the remnant 38 miles of double track rail lines.

6.Lobby the Government and the other six councils of the West Midlands to introduce congestion charging, road pricing and motorway tolls.  The money raised should be used to extend the concessionary fares scheme, the fareless bus for retired workers and the fareless rush hour bus.

7.Discourage all commuters from bringing a car into central Birmingham.

8.Consider, in tandem, policies for greenhouse gas reductions and carbon offsetting, not concentrating solely on the latter.

9.Urge the police that they strictly enforce the 70 mph speed limit on the motorways and dual carriageways of the West Midlands.

10.Give funds to British Waterways to make their towpaths all-weather paths that are fit for the shared use of walkers, runners, cyclists and wheelchair users.