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REPORT OF THE STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
13 OCTOBER 2003
KEY DECISION INCLUDED IN FORWARD PLAN NO. K/TSS/495/03
A34 STRATFORD ROAD RED ROUTE PILOT SCHEME
OPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION APPROVAL
1.0 SUBJECT AND BRIEF SUMMARY OF PROPOSALS
1.1 Red Routes were a major recommendation of the West Midlands Area Multi-Modal
Study (WMAMMS), as a means of alleviating traffic congestion in the West
Midlands conurbation without major road building. The A34 Stratford Road Red
Route pilot scheme is one of three initial demonstration routes that have been
proposed, the other schemes are an extension of the A34 Red Route through
Solihull and the route along the A449 in Wolverhampton. Approval in principle to
the development of the A34 Stratford Road Red Route pilot scheme was obtained
from the former Cabinet Member for Transportation, Street Services and
Sustainability in July 2002 recognising that the funding from WMAMMS was
specifically ring-fenced for this purpose.
1.2 Birmingham City Council is working in partnership with other local authorities in the
West Midlands to investigate the potential for a network of Red Routes. The
implementation of this network would be part of a strategic approach to reducing
traffic congestion and improving bus journey times and reliability, particularly
during peak periods. A regional approach allows the co-ordination of projects on a
route corridor basis across local authority boundaries, with a consistent approach
in the design of schemes and more efficient use of the funding available.
1.3 A network of Red Route schemes on the major routes in the city would include
measures such as improved parking regimes and parking enforcement
(particularly in local centres), junction improvements, improved traffic
management, and new pedestrian facilities. Potential benefits include a reduction
in traffic congestion, improved bus journey times and reliability, clearly marked
parking and loading areas for residents and traders, a reduction in road traffic
accidents, and possible improved air quality due to lower congestion.
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1.4 A successful Red Route network will also provide an opportunity to invest in local
improvements along the most heavily used roads as part of the capital programme
over the next few years, in consultation with local residents, businesses and Ward
Councillors. This will assist in the development of a city of flourishing
1.5 The Red Route proposals through Sparkhill shopping centre will be complemented
by an Environmental Improvement Scheme proposed as part of the City Council’s
Local Centres Strategy. A bid for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
funding of £200,000 has been accepted. The two schemes will be implemented as
a single integrated project, as the Red Route already includes some elements of
1.6 The Red Route will not include significant changes to existing bus lanes or bus
infrastructure. These will be included in a proposed future Bus Showcase project,
after the effects of the Red Route measures on their own have been monitored.
1.7 This report details the options considered for the Stratford Road Red Route and
the consultation responses received. The consultations carried out have been
locally led and have been assisted by the Ward Councillors from an early stage.
The scale of the work included in the preferred option is generally more than would
be expected of a typical Red Route scheme, as it reflects the aspirations of the
traders and residents in the area by improving on and off street parking in the local
1.8 The report recommends an option for approval and implementation.
Implementation will be in two phases. Phase One works will include rationalisation
of car parking to provide a net gain of parking provision without requiring any
additional land outside of the control of Birmingham City Council. Phase Two
works will also be undertaken subject to negotiation and agreement with
appropriate landowners, to further increase parking provision where possible.
1.9 This report seeks authority for the Traffic Regulation Orders and Road Hump
Notices necessary for the scheme to be advertised. As the scheme is part of a
demonstration project it is proposed to advertise the Traffic Regulation Orders for
the Red Route waiting restrictions, prohibited turns and one-way streets on an
experimental basis, to determine the improvements that can be made to journey
time and reliability along the route.
1.10 The Appendices referred to in this report, including Drawings 33006TBM/B/PP/301
to 322, will be made available for Members who attend the Cabinet Meeting, and
will also be available from the Political Group Offices in the Council House, from
the Originating Officer for the report, and on the Final Reports Database.
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That the Cabinet approves:
2.1 the preferred option to be implemented (as shown on Drawings 33006TBM/B/P/
000 Rev I to 007 Rev I), based on the Financial Appraisal as set out in Section 9
of this Report.
2.2 that where minor variations to the scheme are required, as a result of on-going
consultations or objections to Traffic Regulation Orders, these be delegated to the
Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services, for consideration and / or
2.3 the acceptance of £200,000 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) offer
for environmental improvements in the Sparkhill centre (from Palmerston Road to
Fernley Road), and the implementation of the Environmental Improvement
2.4 that matters of scheme detail on the Environmental Improvement be delegated to
the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for
Transportation and Street Services, for approval prior to implementation.
2.5 the advertisement of the experimental and permanent Traffic Regulation Orders
required for the scheme, under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as
amended), and for the Chief Legal Officer to make and seal the permanent Orders
subject to there being no unresolved objections.
2.6 the advertisement of the Road Hump Notices required for the scheme, and for this
work to be implemented subject to there being no unresolved objections.
2.7 that the Director of Economic Development and the Chief Legal Officer progress
by means of negotiation the acquisition of land / property, the obtaining of rights
over land / property, and the appropriation of land as required for the scheme.
2.8 that the Director of Economic Development and the Chief Legal Officer be
authorised to terminate existing leases relating to advertising hoardings as
specified in Appendix One.
2.9 the making of Planning Applications where required for the creation of off-street
public car parks.
2.10 that the Member presenting the petitions detailed in Sections 7.7 and 7.10 and the
first named petitioner be notified accordingly.
2.11 an exemption from City Council Standing Orders 4 and 5 in order to use the
existing knowledge and expertise of (1) Faber Maunsell (Consulting Engineers) in
the design of the scheme, and (2) Parkman Limited in connection with the land
referencing required for the scheme.
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3.1 It is proposed to deliver the scheme in two phases:
Phase One will involve work within the highway boundary and on land owned
by Birmingham City Council.
Phase Two will include improvements to areas of land in private ownership, the
improvement works to be undertaken after successful negotiation and
agreement with affected landowners.
3.2 The proposed scheme is particularly designed to provide the following benefits:
Reductions in congestion and improved journey times along the route, by
means of addressing inconsiderate parking and loading, and improving critical
junctions where possible;
Clearly marked parking and loading bays for traders and residents and
improved on and off-street parking in the local centres;
Improved average bus speeds and bus journey time reliability;
Improved road safety, including new facilities for pedestrians;
Possible improved air quality due to reductions in congestion.
The proposals are not intended to create an urban motorway without any frontage
parking, nor to encourage motorists to exceed the existing speed limits.
Phase One works seek to achieve the potential benefits given above. The Phase
Two works could provide additional improvements to on and off-street parking in
the local centres.
3.3 A report approved by the former Cabinet Member for Transportation, Street
Services and Sustainability in July 2002 gave approval in principle to the
implementation of a Red Route network, and gave authority for the development of
the Stratford Road Red Route pilot scheme as the first route in Birmingham, as
one of the initial demonstration projects. Provision has been made for the scheme
in the Transportation Strategy and Infrastructure Capital Programme 2003-04,
approved by the Cabinet Member in April 2003.
3.4 West Midlands Planning and Transportation (WMP&T) Sub-Committee confirmed
at their meeting on 28 March 2003 the Bus Showcase and Red Route programme
for 2003-04 with approvals for outline design and public consultations to
commence. The Sub-Committee further confirmed at their meeting on 26
September 2003 funding for the on-going commitments under the WMAMMS
programme, including the A34 Stratford Road Red Route through Birmingham and
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3.5 The proposed Red Route pilot scheme runs between the Ring Road at Camp Hill
Circus and the M42 in Solihull. The section south of the Solihull boundary near
Green Hill Way forms part of the Solihull Red Route. The Birmingham section
runs from Camp Hill Circus to the Solihull boundary, including service roads and
side road junctions. The Solihull section became operational in August 2003.
Initial anecdotal feedback from the Police is that traffic appears to be more free-
flowing, the stopping restrictions are easier to enforce, and the number of
accidents has been reduced. However, some traders remain opposed to the Red
Routes as they believe it will affect their trade. Formal monitoring of the Solihull
Red Route is now underway as part of the pilot demonstration project.
3.6 Stratford Road forms part of the A34 Primary Route. The carriageway varies in
width along its length and also varies between single carriageway and dual
carriageway. The carriageway is not designed to modern standards at some
locations through Sparkbrook and Sparkhill, and lane widths at some locations are
substandard leading to further capacity issues. The supply of parking spaces does
not satisfy the existing demand, particularly in the shopping centres on the single
carriageway sections of road.
3.7 Along the route are a number of local shopping areas, including Sparkbrook,
Sparkhill, Springfield, Hall Green and the Robin Hood Island area. Each of these
local areas has different individual issues to be addressed by the Red Route;
however a common theme in all areas is the ability to park and the issue of illegal
parking. Parking for residents is also a problem in many areas.
3.8 Within Sparkbrook parking bays exist along the length of the shopping area
subject to a one hour waiting limit throughout the day; parking on private forecourts
is also occurring. In Sparkhill on-street parking is permitted at specified times of
the day and is subject to a one hour waiting limit. There is also an abundance of
forecourt and footway parking, often causing an obstruction to pedestrians. Within
Springfield the Stratford Road is single carriageway with parking bays on both
sides. Hall Green has two service roads where parking is permitted (between
Green Bank Avenue and Green Road, and around Cambrai Drive junction).
Parking is also permitted in the bus lane in front of Hall Green Parade shops,
outside of the pm peak period.
3.9 The junctions along the Stratford Road are quite constrained and many are
currently operating at capacity. There are six consecutive signalised junctions that
are currently observed to be operating at capacity, these are:
Walford Road/ Stratford Road
Warwick Road/ Stratford Road
St Johns Road/ Stratford Road
Formans Road/ Stratford Road
Springfield Road/ Stratford Road
Cole Bank Road/ Stratford Road.
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3.10 In addition to these junctions that were looked at in the initial scheme proposals
the consultation exercise also raised issues at the College Road / Stratford Road
junction. Traders in the Springfield area indicated that the one way system was
causing problems and that a reversal to the previous two way operation would be
3.11 Bus routes along the Stratford Road include routes number 2, 6, 31 and 37. The
number 6 runs along the whole of the proposed Stratford Road Red Route
corridor, the number 37 turns off at the Warwick Road junction travelling to
Solihull, the number 36 uses Shaftmoor Lane to Gospel Oak, and the number 2
runs along Showell Green Lane / Court Road to Warstock / Maypole.
3.12 National road traffic is forecast under present policies to grow by between 36%
and 84% between 1996 and 2031. As a result of this growth, solutions are being
sought to relieve the increased pressure on the highway network. A Red Route
network was one of the main recommendations of the West Midlands Multi-Modal
Study (WMAMMS), as a means of reducing traffic congestion without major road
3.13 Observations of the existing route indicate congestion at most times of the day.
There are particular delays for Stratford Road traffic in the morning peak inbound
towards the city centre and outbound in the evening peak. Existing journey time
information collated along the Stratford Road indicates an average speed of 17
mph being achieved outbound in the morning peak, with an average speed of 13
mph inbound. In the evening peak an average speed of 15 mph was recorded
outbound, with an inbound speed of 17 mph. These speeds are well below the
existing speed limit and therefore there is scope for improving the current journey
times, without making it any easier for drivers to exceed the speed limits.
3.14 Queues and delays have been observed at critical junctions along the Stratford
Road and it is considered that all the major signalised junctions are suffering with
capacity problems. These capacity issues at each junction are in some cases
attributed to an ineffective use of existing highway or illegal parking on approaches
to junctions, and as such could be remedied within the existing highway land
without major junction improvement. In some scenarios the few right turning
vehicles at each junction are blocking the effective use of two lanes of traffic. It
may be possible to make more effective use of existing highway space in these
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3.15 A traffic model has been developed to determine the benefits of the Red Route
measures along the A34 corridor. In the opening year (estimated 2005), particular
benefits which could result along the Birmingham Red Route section (Camp Hill
Circus to Solihull boundary) include:
Typical daytime journey time of 13.5 minutes from Camp Hill to Solihull
boundary (and vice versa) reduced by an average of 94 seconds. This
represents a saving of about 12% on the overall journey time.
Average peak journey time savings in the am peak of 59 seconds (7%) inbound
and 94 seconds (12%) outbound, and average savings in the pm peak of 228
seconds (25%) inbound and 124 seconds (15%) outbound.
Average speeds increasing from 17 mph to 20 mph for through trips on the
Parking and Enforcement Issues
3.16 Along the Stratford Road are several local shopping areas with parking problems.
Each area has specific issues, however in general they all suffer from a shortage
of convenient parking for customers and long term parking for traders. This is
apparent from observations of the Stratford Road and has been raised throughout
the consultation. Some of the customer and traders parking has displaced to side
roads due to the shortage of spaces on the main route.
3.17 Parking surveys carried out along the Stratford Road have identified a high
incidence of forecourt parking, often accessed illegally and unsafely via pedestrian
footway crossings. Vehicles have been observed to drive along the footway for
extensive lengths to reach such forecourt spaces, a manoeuvre that is perceived
to be unacceptable for pedestrian safety.
3.18 Surveys have revealed a high proportion of illegally parked vehicles on footways or
parked on yellow lines while a restriction is in place. This illegal parking is a
particular problem in the existing bus lanes along the Stratford Road and causes
additional delays to buses using the route. The ‘duration of stay’ surveys also
highlighted a problem with long term parking in spaces supposedly limited to 1
3.19 Managing and controlling parking is at the heart of the success of the Red Route
project. The scheme proposals are centred on the implementation of appropriate
parking restrictions, with standard hours of operation aimed at ensuring that the
route is free of illegally and inconsiderately parked vehicles. The Red Route
controls include ‘no stopping’ restrictions with marked bays where parking, loading
and parking for disabled badge holders is allowed. The controls apply to the whole
of the public highway, including the footway. Greater enforcement is required to
obtain the full benefits of these controls, to give the anticipated reduction in
congestion. For the experimental period an equivalent of four additional staff will
be employed, supported by a ‘tow-away’ vehicle. This will be reviewed at the end
of the experimental period.
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3.20 Improving enforcement of illegally and inconsiderately parked vehicles while
maintaining the vitality of existing shopping areas will only be successful if
improved parking facilities can be provided either elsewhere on the route (where
there will be no significant effect on highway capacity) or away from it.
3.21 In addition to providing traffic engineering measures along the route, on-street
parking bays are proposed where they will not affect road capacity. Some of these
bays can be constructed within the highway boundary, still retaining adequate
footway widths. These will be constructed in Phase One of the scheme. Where full
parking bays would take up most of the existing footway, it will be necessary to
construct half bays in Phase One, to leave sufficient remaining footway width.
Where it may be possible to use privately owned shop forecourts for replacement
footways, to allow the half bays to be replaced by full bays, this will be done by
negotiation and agreement with landowners under Phase Two of the works.
Where agreement to use private forecourts as footways cannot be obtained the
Phase Two works will not be undertaken.
3.22 The Red Route will bring additional legal parking to the Stratford Road. This will be
located in local shopping areas, where the demand for parking spaces is at its
highest. The additional car parking will be concentrated within the five local
centres along the corridor, as identified below. The number of spaces in the Hall
Green Robin Hood Island area will remain unchanged.
Name of Local Centre
Number of full time
Number of part time
as result of
Parking to be lost
provided as part of
New Parking to be
after Phase 1
provided as part of
New Parking to be
after Phase 2
Total net increase
Sparkbrook 45 0 1 9 8 0 0 8
Sparkhill 0 46 21 85 64 78 78 142
Springfield 79 0 6 17 11 59 59 70
Hall Green Parade 30 29 29 29 0 0 0 0
Hall Green Fox Hollies 0 36 36 36 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 154 111 93 176 83 137 137 220
3.23 Completion of Phase One of the works will provide a net increase of 8 spaces in
Sparkbrook, 64 spaces in Sparkhill and 11 spaces in Springfield, making a total of
83 additional spaces. In Hall Green Parade, 29 part-time spaces will be replaced
by full time bays. Similarly, in Hall Green Fox Hollies 36 part-time spaces become
available at all times. A total of 10 of the new spaces along the route will be set
aside specifically for Disabled Parking Badge holders and a further 12 spaces will
be for loading only. The Red Route signs and markings would not be installed
until the majority of the Phase One works have been completed and the new
parking spaces are available for use.
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3.24 It is possible that a further 137 car parking spaces could be created after the
completion of the Phase Two works, subject to successful negotiations with
landowners. Some of the Phase Two works could be brought into Phase One if
negotiations can be completed quickly.
3.25 In considering rationalising the parking, the public consultation exercise indicated
that the main demand for parking is close to the shopping centres. Some parking
will be lost in between the local centres, as summarised below:
Area between Local Centres
(all part time)
After Phase 1
Net Loss in parking
(all full time)
Sparkbrook to Sparkhill 15 0
Sparkhill to Springfield 0 10 On Street
12 Side Street
10 Off Street
Springfield to Hall Green 64 0
Hall Green to Fox Hollies 0 0
Fox Hollies to City Boundary 10 0
TOTAL 89 32
After the completion of Phase One, a net loss of 57 car parking spaces is
envisaged away from the main centres. These parking areas are less utilised, and
no adverse comments have been received on the loss of these spaces during the
consultation. In summary, 83 additional car parking spaces are provided in the
local centres and 57 spaces will be lost in between the centres, making a net
increase of 26 spaces as a result of the Red Route implementation.
3.26 In the three-year period between 07/11/99 and 06/11/02, a total of 303 injury
accidents were recorded on Stratford Road in Birmingham. Of these, 4 were fatal,
40 were serious and 259 slight. Assessments carried out during the development
of the potential Red Route network have suggested that a 5% reduction in
accidents could realistically be achieved on these routes. This would give an
accident cost saving of around £175,000 per year, based on current Department
for Transport figures for costs of injury accidents.
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Air Quality Issues
3.27 Birmingham City Council’s ‘Review and Assessment of Air Quality’ for 1999, and
onwards to 2005, concluded that the annual average objective for nitrogen dioxide
levels should be met throughout most of Birmingham in 2005. It has been
highlighted that the Stratford Road is one of the areas likely to exceed these
levels. An area covering the whole of Birmingham was declared an Air Quality
Management Area in January 2003. This requires the City Council to declare how
they intend to achieve the required national air quality standards, through an
Action Plan to be published in 2004.
3.28 The implementation of the Red Route on Stratford Road should have a beneficial
effect upon traffic congestion, thereby reducing levels of pollution associated with
stop-start and slow moving traffic. As such, the Red Route will be an element of
the proposed Local Action Plan as a scheme linked to a reduction in the levels of
3.29 The preferred solution is shown on drawings No.33006TBM/B/P/000 Rev I to 007
Rev I. The scheme has been modified following public consultation (see Section
7). The table below shows the main elements of the Red Route scheme and the
As the Red Route proposals are part of a demonstration project, many of the
measures will be implemented initially under experimental Traffic Regulation
Orders, as noted in the table. This will allow for modification of the measures
during the life of the pilot scheme, should this be required, and for the removal of
these measures at the end of the demonstration period if necessary.
Element Where Proposed Benefit
Red Route Extending from Camp Hill Ensures most effective use is
controls Circus to Birmingham made of existing road space.
(experimental boundary south of Robin Specific areas marked for
Traffic Regulation Hood Island. parking and loading.
Orders) Better enforcement enabling
more reliable journey times.
Road Closures Auckland Road; Removes conflict at each access
(permanent Main Street; from Stratford Road.
Traffic Regulation Farm Road; Removes delay attributed to right
Orders) Alfred Road; turning vehicles into each of the
Prohibited Durham Road Removes delay due to right
Turns at Avondale Road turning vehicles at junctions.
Junctions Cubley Road Cubley Road will have permitted
(experimental left in and left out movements
Traffic Regulation only.
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Element Where Proposed Benefit
One way Erasmus Road; Removes delay attributed to right
Systems Priestley Road; turning vehicles.
(experimental Braithwaite Road; Eliminates delays particularly at
Traffic Regulation Fulham Road; junctions caused by on coming
Orders) Wilton Road; vehicles along narrow streets.
Newton Road; Turning movements from
Showell Green Lane; Stratford Road into Springfield
Clarence Road; Road will be relocated to new
Thornhill Road; traffic signals at College Road
Springfield Road (College junction, which will separate
Rd to Stratford Rd section) existing conflicting right turns.
Bus Lanes Outbound bus lane at Hall Existing daytime parking in bus
(permanent Traffic Green Parade lane is relocated to new parking
Regulation Orders) bay and Bus Lane is converted
to 12 hour operation and
surfaced in green material.
Entry All side roads apart from Lower and standardised kerb
Treatments signalled junction locations heights allow ease of crossing
(permanent Road and other main junctions. for the elderly and people with a
Hump Notices) disability.
New Parking Throughout shopping areas Provide additional parking and
areas (both off-street and on- loading opportunities for both
street) customers and traders.
New pedestrian Springfield Road junction; Additional safe crossing
crossings College Road junction; opportunities provided for
facilities Nr cinema in Sparkhill. pedestrians.
Junction and Highgate Road; Allows for increase in capacity at
general highway Warwick Road; junctions by rationalising turning
improvements St Johns Road; movements, and making more
Formans Road; efficient use of signals.
Springfield Road; Installation of central refuge
College Road. islands at some locations allows
safer movement for pedestrians.
3.30 Further design work and public consultation will be required before the preferred
option at Springfield Road and College Road can be confirmed, as this layout was
not included in the original public consultation. Any proposed changes to the
above proposals will be reported to Cabinet Member for consideration prior to
implementation, as Recommendation 2.2 of this report.
3.31 The proposed scheme forms one of the Red Route pilot projects, and the new
restrictions are to be advertised under experimental Traffic Regulation Orders
where indicated above. The Financial Appraisal in Section 9 includes for future
costs of making these Orders permanent. However, if the measures are found to
be unsuitable, substantial modification or removal would require additional funding,
and a further Financial Appraisal would be required at the appropriate time.
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Deliverability and Land Issues
3.32 The scheme includes the delivery of a number of on-street parking bays and off-
street parking areas to the rear of properties. It has been recognised that some of
these areas are easier to deliver than others. Issues surrounding the deliverability
of each of the areas of land depend largely upon the negotiation of land rights and
agreement for the works with private land owners, which in turn dictates the
timescale for delivery.
3.33 Due to these issues it has become necessary to identify two phases to the
scheme. Phase One includes the work that can be achieved within the highway
boundary and / or on land owned by Birmingham City Council. Phase Two will
include improvement works to land in private ownership, under the well-being
powers of the Local Government Act 2000, and will be subject to negotiation and
agreement with the affected landowners.
3.34 It is considered unlikely that many of the land plots required for Phase Two could
be secured by negotiation. As the Phase One works will give improved legal
parking provision it is not essential that any or all of the Phase Two works are
carried out. However, it would be highly desirable to secure as much of the work
as possible in order to create an enhanced scheme that meets the needs of all
road users and frontagers along the corridor.
3.35 The possibility of acquiring any land interest by exercising Compulsory Purchase
Powers at this stage has been discounted since applying such powers may serve
to diminish the progress of dialogue and negotiations that are currently on-going
with frontagers, and compulsory purchase could not be achieved with the current
funding provision for the scheme.
3.36 All land issues related to the scheme are listed in Appendix One, which will be
made available at the Cabinet Meeting. This report includes recommendations to
allow land referencing and negotiation of rights to be carried out where required.
Drawings 33006TBM/B/PP/301 to 322, which show the main areas of land in
question, will be made available alongside the Appendix.
3.37 An Environmental Improvement scheme is also proposed on the section of
Stratford Road between Palmerston Road and Fernley Road in Sparkhill. This
work is likely to include enhanced street lighting and improved street furniture, the
detail of which has yet to be developed but will be agreed with the Cabinet
Member for Regeneration prior to implementation. Funding for the work has been
obtained through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF
offer also included funding for environmental improvements in the local centres at
Hawthorn Road / College Road, Kingstanding, and at Lea Village, Shard End.
These will be reported separately to Cabinet or relevant Cabinet Members as
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3.38 This Environmental Improvement project follows and endorses the philosophy of
improvements advocated within the Sparkbrook, Sparkhill and Tyseley Area
Regeneration Initiative (SSTAR), the City Council joint-funded ‘Commercial Areas
Feasibility Study’ (CAFS) 1999, and the City Council’s ‘Strategy for Local Centres’
2001. The CAFS report detailed physical problems in the main local centres,
including Sparkbrook, Sparkhill, Stoney Lane and Ladypool Road. Among the
recommendations were enhancement works in the Sparkhill centre. Works have
already been implemented in the Ladypool Road and Stoney Lane areas, and the
Sparkbrook area is being looked at as part of a wider redevelopment initiative.
3.39 The existing bus lane at Hall Green Parade will be converted to 12 hour operation
under the Red Route scheme, as the existing daytime parking in this lane is to be
relocated to a new parking bay in the wide footway. The Red Route scheme will
not include any other changes to the location or operation of existing bus lanes,
nor any general improvements to bus stops. However, buses will benefit from any
overall reductions in congestion, so journey time savings similar to those forecast
for general traffic could also be expected for buses.
3.40 A future Bus Showcase scheme has been proposed for this corridor, after the
effects of the Red Route measures on their own have been monitored. Feasibility
work is planned for 2004-05. Preliminary work by Faber Maunsell (Consultant
Engineers) has suggested that the existing bus journey time of around 30 minutes
between Camp Hill and the Solihull boundary could be reduced by up to 25 per
cent by a Bus Showcase scheme. However, the actual improvement that could be
obtained would depend on the measures that are implemented. The need to
obtain a balance between the needs of buses and the needs of other road users
and frontagers would affect the bus journey time savings that could be achieved.
Employment of Faber Maunsell – Exemption to Standing Orders
3.41 The outline design and public consultation work to date has been carried out by
Faber Maunsell under their existing term tender contract with Centro for the
provision of professional services. It is proposed that, under the direction of City
Council officers, Faber Maunsell now carry out the detailed design work on behalf
of the City Council, due to their level of expertise not only from working on Red
Routes in London but also from their existing knowledge of the Stratford Road
proposals and their level of engagement with the general public and their
representatives from their work to date.
3.42 As there is no existing contract between Faber Maunsell and the City Council it will
be necessary to employ them using negotiated rates. Faber Maunsell have
submitted rates for agreement based on their existing term tender with Centro.
These have been benchmarked against the City Council’s existing Partnership
with Mott MacDonald and have been found to be competitive. They have also
been previously market tested in the tender process with Centro.
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3.43 The City Council’s Urban Design (Quantity Surveyors) have independently
checked the information submitted by Faber Maunsell, and have confirmed that
their resource plan appears to be a fair and reasonable assessment of the likely
time and cost involved, based on the project programme. The order value for the
detailed design works is likely to be in the region of £150,000.
3.44 This report therefore includes a recommendation to allow an exemption to City
Council Standing Orders 4 and 5, to allow the employment of Faber Maunsell
under negotiated rates for the detailed design work on this scheme.
Employment of Parkman Limited – Exemption to Standing Orders
3.45 This report includes a recommendation to allow additional land referencing to be
carried out. Preliminary land referencing work has been carried out by Parkman
Limited. It is proposed that Parkman be employed to continue with this. There are
only two other companies known to carry this type of work; one currently has a full
order book and the other is already engaged on several schemes for the City
Council. The extent of referencing work required may exceed the value of £10,000
that can be authorised under delegated powers.
3.46 This report therefore includes a recommendation to allow an exemption to City
Council Standing Orders 4 and 5, to allow the employment of Parkman Limited for
the land referencing work on this scheme.
4.0 MATTERS FOR DECISION
4.1 To approve the implementation of the A34 Stratford Road Red Route
demonstration scheme based on the Financial Appraisal and the consultation
4.2 To agree that where minor variations are appropriate as a result of on-going
consultations or objections to Traffic Regulation Orders that these be delegated to
the Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services for consideration and /
4.3 To approve the implementation of the additional and complementary
Environmental Improvement scheme, and agreement of the scheme detail with the
Cabinet Member for Regeneration in consultation with the Cabinet Member for
Transportation and Street Services.
4.4 To advertise the permanent and experimental Traffic Regulation Orders and the
Road Hump Notices required for the scheme, and to allow the permanent Orders
to be made and sealed and the Notices to be implemented subject to there being
no unresolved objections.
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4.5 To give authorisation to formally negotiate on the land issues highlighted as a
desirable part of the Red Route scheme, to progress the termination of leases
relating to advertising hoardings, and to carry out Planning Application procedures
for the creation of new off-street public car parks.
4.6 To authorise exemptions to City Council Standing Orders 4 and 5 to allow the
employment of Faber Maunsell (Consulting Engineers) for the detailed design of
the scheme and Parkman Limited for the land referencing work.
5.0 EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
‘Do Nothing’ Scheme
5.1 Introducing Red Routes was a major recommendation of the West Midlands Area
Multi-Modal Study as a means of alleviating traffic congestion without major road
building, and providing an opportunity to invest in local improvements along the
most heavily used routes, in consultation with local residents, businesses and
Ward Councillors. Since approval in principle has already been obtained to the
development of a Red Route network, with Stratford Road being named as one of
the initial demonstration projects, a ‘do nothing’ option has been discounted as it
would not achieve these aims.
Variations on a Red Route scheme
5.2 The development of a scheme for dealing with network efficiency problems in the
West Midlands progressed from a need for an area-wide, whole route, user-
5.3 The types of improvement introduced through the London Red Route project
formed the starting point in scheme development, but it was evident that the
application of the improvements to the West Midlands network and the process for
implementation would involve a slightly different sort of scheme and approach from
that seen in London. Whilst the key efficiency issue in London was enforcement to
clear the roadway for through traffic movement, the emphasis in the West
Midlands, and on the Stratford Road in particular, is on rationalisation of parking
and access (on foot and by vehicle) to abutting land uses to prevent / minimise the
conflicts with through traffic.
5.4 Alternative option analysis has been undertaken as part of the West Midlands Area
Multi Modal Study (WMAMMS) and as part of this extensive work various options
have been appraised to determine the most beneficial way to take the Red Routes
forward in the West Midlands. Within this framework two alternative options or
approaches to the Red Route have been formulated for the Stratford Road.
5.5 The first option was to develop a low cost scheme based on replacing the existing
yellow line controls with Red Route lining. This scheme would offer some
improvement to the clarity of the current restrictions, however:
this option would not tackle the problems on the Stratford Road;
PAGE 16 OF 26
it may have a negative impact on the economic viability of the areas along the
there would be no benefit for the traders.
Overall the low cost option would be cheap to deliver but offer no real benefits for
the areas along the Stratford Road and would not be acceptable to the general
5.6 By contrast, the second option was to develop a scheme that provided all the
parking areas required along the Stratford Road prior to the implementation of the
Red Route controls. It was anticipated that this approach would involve extensive
land purchase under Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) procedures. It is
considered that this approach would be:
an expensive option due to the extensive land required for car parking;
problematic to deliver and take an unacceptable time to implement;
subject to the wider planning policy framework which may not be compatible
with the objectives of delivering large areas of car parking;
difficult to justify in terms of value for money.
In general, it was considered that the delivery of the extensive off-street parking
areas would prove extremely costly and have a high element of associated risk.
5.7 The preferred option is considered to be that which is suitable to the issues
surrounding the A34 Stratford Road Red Route. Specifically, the criteria stating
that ‘improvements included in the scheme definition should focus on all
opportunities to increase safety, convenience, and efficiency of movement of all
users’ and ‘should facilitate movement around the area’ are considered to be
particularly relevant to the A34.
5.8 In order to ensure the success of the scheme and the continuing economic viability
of the shopping centres along the route, wider ranging improvements compared to
those available within the Low Cost option are required. These include the
provision of upgraded or new parking facilities on, and away from the Red Route,
and junction improvements aimed at improving access for all users.
5.9 Without the provision of improved parking facilities (at least those proposed under
the Phase One works) and improvements to strategic junctions, it would be
unlikely that the proposals would gain support from most sections of the
6.0 CABINET MEMBER CONSULTATION
6.1 The Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services and the Cabinet
Member for Regeneration have been consulted during the development of this
PAGE 17 OF 26
7.0 WHAT CONSULTATION (if any) HAS TAKEN PLACE
Initial Public Consultation (January to May 2003)
7.1 The initial consultation was split into two elements, the wider public consultation
which took place between January and May 2003, and the side road consultation
which took place in April 2003. In total, 1800 leaflets were distributed and five
public exhibitions held. A traders’ presentation was also held for the businesses in
the Sparkhill and Springfield areas.
7.2 In addition to these consultation exhibitions further small scale meetings were held
with local traders groups and residents associations. Roadside advertisements
were also placed along the Stratford Road giving the Red Route telephone number
for people to contact for further information.
7.3 A two weekly Red Route and Environmental Improvement meeting has been
organised with representatives from Springfield Traders, Sparkhill North Traders
and Guru Nanak Gurdwara. Birmingham City Council representatives from
Transportation Strategy and the Planning Department have attended these
meetings with Ward Councillors and the scheme consultants, Faber Maunsell.
These meetings have been used to discuss the elements of the scheme and the
way forward for the Red Route in that area.
7.4 A total of 293 questionnaire responses were received as part of the first stage
consultation. The questionnaires were handed out at exhibitions and meetings.
These were also issued by post with a pre-paid envelope and copies of the
scheme drawings. Summaries of the responses received via the questionnaire are
included in Appendix Two. A summary of specific comments and issues raised
during the consultation are included in Appendix Three. These Appendices will be
made available at the Cabinet Meeting.
7.5 A further 1400 letters were distributed along specific side roads that were affected
by the proposals. These letters were distributed at the beginning of April to ensure
that all side road residents were aware of the scheme content and any implications
for them in terms of road closures, prohibited turns and one way systems. This
consultation was undertaken by letter with accompanying information identifying
the likely impacts of the proposals on traffic routing. All leaflets and letters sent out
as part of the consultation were fully translated. In total 168 of the questionnaires
distributed were returned, indicating a response rate of 12%. Specific comments
received from the general consultation and the side road consultation are included
in Appendix Three, which will be available at the Cabinet Meeting.
PAGE 18 OF 26
7.6 The main points arising from the first stage consultation related to:
Discussions with all traders and residents indicated problems along the majority of
the route. It was highlighted that there was insufficient parking for the residents,
traders and customers and that this needs addressing before the Red Route could
be introduced. Some off-street areas were suggested as possible areas for
additional car parking.
Side Road Issues.
The proposed side road closures and prohibited movements have been criticised
at some locations. The majority of respondents have raised concern over the lack
of right turn facilities in the scheme and the implications this is likely to have in
terms of route diversions.
Loss of Open Space.
Concerns over the loss of open space for car parking were raised, it was identified
that the Stratford Road corridor had few green open spaces and those that exist
need to be retained.
7.7 In total four petitions were received during the first consultation. The responses
are detailed in the table below. The Member presenting the petition and the first
name petitioner will be notified following acceptance of this Cabinet Report.
Petition From Reason for Response
Residents around Objecting to making The right turn into Clarence Road
Clarence Road Clarence Road one causes problems on Stratford Road
(65 signatures). way. and it is more appropriate that these
turns occur at Hillfield Road where a
right turn facility exists.
Private Hire Taxi Objecting to Prohibiting right turns at side roads will
Association changes to side offer improvements in journey times on
(75 signatures) road access (one- Stratford Road, thereby giving overall
ways and banned benefits to road users.
turns) However, proposal to prohibit right turn
at Walford Road signals has been
deleted from the scheme.
Sparkhill Objecting to use of This objection has been accepted and
Residents Stratford Street Park the proposal is not being taken
(23 signatures) as a parking area. forward.
Residents of Hall Objecting to any Proposed parking restrictions have
Green further parking been relaxed in several areas where
(via Cllr Harvey) restrictions in Hall there will not be a significant effect on
(220 signatures). Green. congestion levels.
A parking bay has now been proposed
inside the bus lane to serve Hall Green
PAGE 19 OF 26
Second Public Consultation
7.8 To give the public the opportunity to comment further and revise the proposals as
a result of the first public consultation, a further exhibition was held. Letters were
sent to Councillors, residents’ associations and traders’ groups, and the meeting
was advertised in the local press. However overall attendance was disappointing.
Additional meetings have been held with specific groups where necessary.
7.9 Whilst the consultation has been in two stages, it is considered that consultation
has been continuous with comments and queries being dealt with since December
2002. The second stage has involved fortnightly meetings with a discussion group
in Sparkhill and Springfield; members of the group include Sparkhill residents’ and
traders’ association representatives, the Secretary and Chairman of the Gurdwara,
and Local Councillors.
7.10 The main issues raised in the second stage consultation are as follows:
Issue Comment Response
Parking There is still a need to address It is recommended that an
Issues specific issues in terms of restrictions area be set aside for longer
on duration of parking; the standard stay parking in areas to be
one-hour time limit may not be agreed with trader groups.
sufficient in some areas.
Loading The scheme proposals have not Minor changes to the scheme
Facilities identified specific locations for through the detailed design
loading facilities in some areas. process will ensure individual
Comments received indicate that requirements for loading are
these would be required to ensure addressed where possible.
that deliveries could be made to
Tree Areas identified for parking bays No trees will be removed for
Removal along the footway currently contain parking bays as these will be
several trees. Concern was raised designed around the trees. A
over the loss of these trees and tree will be removed at the
comments indicated that their junction with Green Road, and
retention would be preferred. replaced in accordance with
current City Council policies.
Prohibited Residents’ meeting in Hall Green Proposals to ban these right
Turns and objected to banning the right turns turns have been dropped.
Road into Cole Bank Road and School Work will be carried out to
Closures Road, and to closing Cubley Road. investigate cost of widening
This is due to likely increase in this junction to allow separate
traffic on other roads, eg Green right turn lanes. However, this
Road and Catesewll Road. will require a separate capital
funded scheme in the future.
Several letters have been received The proposal to close Cubley
on these issues, and a petition Road has been amended to
received via Cllr Harvey. give a ‘left in / left out only’
PAGE 20 OF 26
7.11 The scheme illustrated in the plans attached to this Report takes into account
where possible the comments received during the whole consultation. However,
the detail of the scheme will be under continual review as part of the detailed
design process. Minor variations may be required to the scheme at the request of
traders or residents groups, and where these could be accommodated it is
proposed that they are referred to the Cabinet Member for Transportation and
Street Services, for consideration and / or approval.
7.12 Further consultation and formal advertisement of Orders will be needed next year
if the experimental Traffic Regulation Orders are to be made permanent. Any
objections would have to be considered at that time.
Councillors and Other Organisations
7.13 Letters were sent from the former Cabinet Member for Transportation, Street
Services and Sustainability to the relevant Ward Councillors in December 2002,
outlining the background to the scheme and a further letter detailing the
consultation to be undertaken through a consultation plan. There have also been
various presentations to Ward Committees.
7.14 Hall Green Councillors raised a number of queries regarding the proposals. These
are: to ensure that parking restrictions imposed within Hall Green are no more
restrictive than those within Sparkbrook / Sparkhill; the possibility of using the
forecourt within the Hall Green Parade of shops for additional parking; and
concern over the clarity of the stopping restriction signage along the Red Route.
These comments have been allowed for in the preferred option. With regards to
signs, these will be in accordance with current Department for Transport
guidelines. Signing will be in effect 50% larger than ordinary parking restriction
7.15 See also Section 7.10 for other issues raised through Hall Green Councillors.
7.16 Emergency Services have also been contacted with a specific letter and
accompanying scheme plans to Police, Fire and Ambulance Headquarters.
Ongoing consultation with Police has been occurring in monthly Red Route
Steering Group meetings. The Police have stated that they believe that effective
enforcement of the Red Route is essential to the success of the scheme.
7.17 Representatives of local traders and other organisations in the Sparkhill centre are
keen to see the package of Environmental Improvements implemented in support
of the Red Route, in order to support the viability of the area.
PAGE 21 OF 26
7.18 Birmingham Friends of the Earth have welcomed the changes to the scheme to
retain public open space and the majority of trees, and the inclusion of additional
pedestrian facilities. They have requested improvements for cyclists along the
route, and upgrading of the alternative parallel cycle route. Provision of cycle
facilities on Stratford Road will be limited due to the lack of road width, but will be
considered where it is possible. Improved signing of the parallel route will be
included within the scheme as a higher priority than cycle facilities on the Stratford
7.19 Birmingham Friends of the Earth also expressed concern over the general
principle of Red Routes, as they believe they will increase the volume and speed
of traffic, and will discourage the use of public transport. However, it is not
intended to create an ‘urban motorway’ type layout where traffic can easily exceed
the speed limits, and any reductions in congestion will also benefit the buses. A
separate Bus Showcase scheme is also being considered for Stratford Road in the
8.0 WHAT REPRESENTATIONS (IF ANY) HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, E.G. IN
RESPONSE TO THE INCLUSION OF THE DECISION IN THE FORWARD PLAN
9.0 IMPLICATIONS FOR RESOURCES, FINANCE, PEOPLE, PROPERTY, IT
9.1 Capital Expenditure
The following tables outline the proposed capital expenditure on the scheme.
Fees prior to 1 April 2003 are not included as these have been funded through
separate budgets held by Centro. The figures include for any Statutory
Undertakers’ implications and for costs associated with the land issues listed in
FORECAST TOTAL 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06
(£) (£) (£) (£)
Works Phase 1 2,950,000 450,000 2,400,000 100,000
Works Phase 2 450,000 NIL NIL 450,000
Fees 450,000 150,000 250,000 50,000
Contingency 350,000 50,000 250,000 50,000
SCHEME TOTAL 4,200,000 650,000 2,900,000 650,000
PAGE 22 OF 26
Additional Costs of Parking Enforcement
Enforcement costs for the experimental period are shown below. Enforcement
costs in future years are shown under ‘Revenue Implications’.
FORECAST TOTAL 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06
(£) (£) (£) (£)
Enforcement Costs 126,000 NIL 72,000 54,000
Additional Environmental Improvement Scheme
FORECAST TOTAL 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06
(£) (£) (£) (£)
Works 157,000 NIL 154,000 3,000
Fees 27,500 10,000 17,500 NIL
Contingency 15,500 NIL 15,500 NIL
TOTAL 200,000 10,000 187,000 3,000
9.2 It should be noted that the forecast expenditure has been derived by calculating all
the individual elements of the scheme. In broad terms the expenditure (subject to
al Phase Two works being undertaken) is split as follows. These figures do not
include the ERDF funded scheme.
The provision of new parking areas and the upgrading of existing parking
facilities - £1,860,000 (43% of total cost);
Junction improvements - £1,080,000 (25% of total cost);
Environmental improvements, including entry treatments and improved
pedestrian facilities - £950,000 (22% of total cost);
Lining, signing and enforcement of the Red Route - £436,000 (10% of total
9.3 The existing approved capital budget of £0.550m for 2003-04 has been ear-
marked by West Midlands Planning and Transport (WMP&T) Sub-Committee, and
was included as part of the Transportation Strategy and Infrastructure Capital
Programme 2003-04 approved by the former Cabinet Member for Transportation,
Street Services and Sustainability in April 2003. The Sub-Committee further
confirmed at their meeting on 26 September 2003 funding for the on-going
commitments under the WMAMMS programme, including the A34 Stratford Road
Red Route through Birmingham and Solihull.
PAGE 23 OF 26
9.4 The capital budget for this and future years will be amended to reflect the
proposed expenditure shown below, subject to WMP&T Sub-Committee approval.
BUDGET TOTAL 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06
(£) (£) (£) (£)
Red Route 4,200,000 650,000 2,900,000 650,000
Enforcement 126,000 NIL 72,000 54,000
Environmental Scheme 200,000 10,000 187,000 3,000
TOTAL 4,526,000 660,000 3,159,000 707,000
9.5 A notional sum has been included in the forecast for future years to allow for minor
changes to the measures and making the Orders permanent at the end of the
experimental period. However, no sums have been included for the cost of
substantial modification or complete removal of the experimental measures at the
end of the demonstration. This will be subject to a further Financial Appraisal at
the appropriate time, if required.
9.6 The funding for the Red Route scheme (including enforcement and tow-away
costs) will be from SCA monies held centrally by Centro on behalf of WMP&T Sub-
Committee, specifically for implementing the West Midlands Area Multi Modal
9.7 The funding for 2003-04 and for future years will be subject to the allocation of
capital resources by WMP&T Sub-Committee. The forecasts for 2004-05 and
2005-06 will form prior commitments against the capital programmes for those
years, and will be administered by WMP&T Sub-Committee.
9.8 The funding for the additional and complementary Environmental Improvements
will be supported by ERDF monies.
9.9 The City Council’s capital budget will be varied to reflect the allocation of WMP&T
capital resources once their approval is received.
9.10 Asset charges of £614,250 (Red Route), £24,860 (enforcement) and £18,430
(Environmental Scheme) will be incurred in a full year based on a 10%
depreciation over 10 years and 4.625% notional interest. These charges will be
included in the Highway Revenue Budget as an uncontrollable variation to the
PAGE 24 OF 26
9.11 Revenue Maintenance Costs of £18,000 (Red Route) and £27,500 (Environmental
Scheme) per year for additional street lighting, street furniture, illuminated signing
and traffic signals will be incurred. This cost will represent a commitment against
the 2005-06 (and subsequent years) Highways Maintenance Cash Limited
9.12 The cost of maintaining the Red Route signing and road markings will not be
greater than the cost of maintaining the existing parking signs and markings.
9.13 The revenue consequences of additional parking enforcement will be £18,000 in
2005-06 and £72,000 p.a. from 2006-07 onwards at 2003 prices. Funding for
these enforcement costs in 2005-06 and beyond will have to be found from within
the City Council’s Base Revenue Budget.
10.0 IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY PRIORITIES
Corporate Policy Priorities – To Develop Birmingham as a City of Flourishing
Neighbourhoods and to Improve Council Services
10.1 Works carried out under the Local Transport Plan are a major element of the
action taken by the City Council in support of its strategic themes and priorities, as
set out in the Cabinet Statement; in particular, flourishing neighbourhoods,
devolution, and improved service provision.
10.2 The Environmental Improvements for Sparkhill centre will be of particular benefit to
the viability of that area.
Specific Service Priorities
10.3 The preferred option will promote greater transport choice and assist with the
provision of greater priority for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
10.4 The scheme will contribute to a modern and successful city and more sustainable
Implications for Specific Issues
10.5 The preferred option includes improved pedestrian crossing facilities. This will be
of particular benefit to parents with pushchairs and people with disabilities.
10.6 The scheme should reduce traffic congestion and improve provision for public
transport and pedestrians. This will contribute towards a cleaner, greener city.
PAGE 25 OF 26
11.0 ARE THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN THIS REPORT CONSISTENT WITH ANY
APPROVED ‘POLICY FRAMEWORK’ PLAN OR STRATEGY OR THE
11.1 The recommendations are consistent with the objectives of the West Midlands
Local Transport Plan, the West Midlands Area Multi Modal Study, and the ‘Visions’
Transport Strategy for Birmingham.
12.0 REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
12.1 To allow the Road Hump Notices and the Traffic Regulation Orders required for
the scheme to be advertised and implemented subject to there being no
12.2 To approve the scheme budget as outlined in the Financial Appraisal in Section 9
of this report.
12.3 To approve the Environmental Improvement scheme, and to authorise the
acceptance of ERDF funding.
12.4 To allow the land referencing, negotiation and appropriation required for the
scheme to be carried out, and to allow Planning Application procedures to
12.5 To allow an exemption to City Council Standing Orders for the employment of
Faber Maunsell for the detailed design of the proposed scheme and of Parkman
Limited for the land referencing work.
13.0 BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS
The West Midlands Local Transport Plan 2000;
West Midlands Area Multi-Modal Study;
A Transport Strategy for Birmingham – Visions 20:20;
‘The Transportation Strategy and Infrastructure Capital Programme 2003/04’
(Report to Cabinet Member for Transportation, Street Services and
Sustainability, April 2003);
‘Proposals for a West Midlands Red Route Network’ (Report to Cabinet
Member for Transportation, Street Services and Sustainability, July 2002);
Commercial Area Feasibility Study 1999;
‘A Strategy for Local Centres’ (Report of Chief Planning Officer to Regeneration
Advisory Team, 27 June 2001).
PAGE 26 OF 26
COUNCILLOR JOHN TYRRELL
CABINET MEMBER FOR TRANSPORTATION AND STREET SERVICES
STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
ACCOUNTANCY SERVICES MANAGER
Tel: 0121-303 7329 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 0121-303 7339 E-Mail: email@example.com