The Local Transport Plan (LTP) is a bidding document from local authorities to central government for transportation funds. The current LTP for Birmingham is wrapped up in a much larger document covering the seven metropolitan districts of the West Midlands namely Brum, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

We are at a critical time for setting out far more sustainable stategies and policies, and as far as Climate Change and Air Pollution is concerned transport is a major worry for the City and nation alike. West Midlands FoE have responded to the formal consultation documents saying that it is very unambitious for traffic reduction and increasing bus use, and underwhelming with respect to the treatment of cyclists and walkers. The plan is not brilliant for the less able either.

In our opinion the LTP does not make the necessary links with other agendas such as health, land use planning and social exclusion. While it mentions some of the problems, it does not say how for example they are going to provide real bus priority, not only to attract people from their cars, but for the very people who need buses because they have no access to a car – and stick with it, not bow to pressure from the motoring lobby. In summary the LTP is charged from central government with four main themes:

  • Tackling congestion
  • Delivering improved accessibility
  • Improving road safety
  • Producing better air quality.

The final LTP must be submitted to central government in March 2006. From January to March of next year it will have to go through the political process within all seven local authorities as well as joint committees. It will cover spending on capital but not revenue projects from 2006 to 2011.

The current consultation finishes on December 6th. If there's any time left when this newsletter reaches you, please go to the dedicated LTP website and make a response.