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Birmingham Friends of the Earth have responded to the news of likely cuts in local transport schemes with a call for priority to be given to schemes that will benefit most people.
The campaigns group say that large and expensive schemes such as High Speed Rail and extending the runway at BIA should not take money away from less glamorous, but more efficient uses of limited budgets.
Campaigner Joe Peacock says ‘Congestion is costing people time and money, plus ruining the environment and yet priority always seems to be given to large prestigious projects for long-distance travel. Isn’t trying to accommodate ever more traffic what has been done for the last 40 years or so with no positive effect?’.
With a cost-benefit ratio of 19:1, Birmingham Friends of the Earth say investment in walking and cycling projects should be the city’s top priority, as the long-term savings in health, CO2 emissions and reducing congestion are the most significant.
The green group are also extremely concerned that Birmingham City Council is planning to spend large amounts of taxpayers’ money on moving the A45, which is in Solihull not Birmingham, to allow the runway extension at the airport to go ahead.
Transport campaigner Martin Stride added “Why the council is funding a road scheme in another borough just to benefit the airport when all we hear about is cuts, makes no sense. Ordinary tax payers in Birmingham should be appalled by this when their local services are threatened”.
Notes to Editors
1) The articles this responds to are: http://www.birminghampost.net/dailybulletin/news2/2010/10/13/gridlock-in-birmingham-to-get-worse-despite-road-improvements-65233-27467000/#ixzz12JzANQrK and http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2010/10/14/major-west-midlands-transport-plans-facing-axe-amid-budget-cuts-65233-27472723/
2) Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigns on many environmental issues, including sustainable transport on a local, national and international level. https://birminghamfoe.org.uk/
3) Value for money on walking and cycling projects: www.walkengland.org.uk/…/Microsoft-Word-_2D00_-Economic-Assessent-of-Walking-and-Cycling-March2010.pdf
4) For more information contact: Joe Peacock (Birmingham Friends of the Earth)
0121 632 6909 email@example.com