Birmingham City Council has revealed details of a 6.27 billion U.S. dollars plan to improve transport in and around Britain's biggest provincial city.
The ambitious proposals, outlined in an official white paper listing schemes proposed over a 20-year period, have been posted by the council Friday on its website.
British Government Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin welcomed the initiative, saying: "I am delighted to be launching this new white paper which is vital for Birmingham to continue to grow and prosper. The government has put transport at the heart of its long term economic plan, because the future of successful cities depends on efficient transport that can connect people with jobs, link communities with services and attract new investment."
The strategy, known as Birmingham Connected, aims to make the city safer and easier to travel around by reducing congestion and promoting more sustainable forms of transport. In addition to cutting pollution and promoting healthier lifestyles, it would also better link communities and encourage economic growth.
Initiatives in the plan include:
* The completion of a 1.9 billion U.S. dollars public transport network within 20 years, allowing people to travel across the city in high quality vehicles in safety.
* Developing a strategy for the long-term future and role of the busy A38 main road through the city, including options such as substantial redesign and redirecting through traffic on to either a substantially upgraded ring road or new, longer tunnels under the city. Consultation will begin in 2015.
* The introduction of Green Travel Districts (GTDs) where people are put before cars, enabling residents, workers and visitors to walk, cycle or take public transport safely. This would reduce congestion, pollution, accidents and promote healthier, safer communities.
* Improving rail links across the city and beyond, including re-opening and upgrading rail routes to city suburbs, supporting new housing and jobs in these areas.
* Promoting a Low Emissions Zone in the city center to improve air quality and help Birmingham City Council meet carbon reduction targets, leading to a healthier city.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of the city council, said: "The Birmingham Connected white paper sets out our vision for a world class transport system fitting of a world class city."