Gridlock or Growth - Choices and Challenges for the future (22-09-2006)
The report concludes…
that congestion and weaknesses in the West Midlands metropolitan transport links are already affecting the economy and quality of life. This position is set to worsen between now and 2021.
It is clear that any options followed in the West Midlands can only be implemented in the context of a national framework. This study looks at the feasibility of different options and is intended to promote debate. Further information on the associated transport investment plans will be published in the coming months. These will add detail to the congestion management strategy and illustrate the potential future development of the West Midlands metropolitan transport network in the 21st century.
This report is designed to be a focus for discussion and we hope that there will be the widest possible debate around the scenarios and concepts outlined.
We want to know:
- Do you agree that traffic congestion is a major problem that is getting worse within the West Midlands and something which needs to be tackled?
- How does congestion affect you and your organisation? Do you believe that it is hampering our economic growth potential and is having harmful effects on air quality and health?
- Should we simply accept increasing congestion levels or should we do something about it?
- What are your views on what should happen in the West Midlands and how this relates to the national position?
- If you are a regular road-user, to what degree would you be prepared to change your travel habits to contribute to reducing congestion under current transport conditions enhanced by schemes such as car sharing, working from home initiatives and school buses? Are such options practical for you and your organisation? Do you think other road users would be prepared to make changes to reduce traffic pressures at peak times in peak locations?
- Would significantly improved public transport provision encourage you to consider its use as an alternative to some of the car journeys which you currently make?
- If certain trips you made involved a road user charge, would you consider alternative travel arrangements, if they were available?
There are many other issues on which you will also want to comment. This report is the beginning of a process; it has tried to set out some of the key issues and some of the initial conclusions. We hope that this report will stimulate an informed debate around the issues of how the West Midlands should tackle the increasing problems associated with traffic congestion. The very first step will be the presentation of the report to the Joint Committee and the individual seven authorities.
As well as generating this debate over the next few months it is proposed to undertake *more detailed surveys and discuss these with businesses and residents. In addition it is likely that some technology trials* would be undertaken in partnership with Government as demonstrations of how things could work.
More details would need to be worked up of the infrastructure packages and outline business cases for the key elements of the package. Taken together there would be a considerable amount of work to be undertaken to produce more technical evidence before any decision could be taken on the approach to be adopted.
The report is not a blueprint, but it does make a significant step forward in setting out the evidence about present and future traffic movements and their impact on economic, social and environmental issues. It also provides sufficient practical information about how particular measures to manage traffic demand might work, including the option of road user charging and supporting transport measures, to facilitate real and robust discussion across all seven metropolitan authorities and the PTA.
We look forward to hearing your views before the closing date for comments on 30 December 2006. You can give them by:
Logging on to the West Midlands Local Transport Plan website which has a dedicated section about the Transport Innovation Fund and a place to make your comments.
<a href=“http://www.westmidlandsltp.gov.uk/report.php?id=2477”>>> Submit your comments…</a>
...or writing to the Transport Innovation Fund Team, Faber Maunsell, Beaufort House,.94-96 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 1PB.
A telephone information line has also been set up on 0121 262 6769