Traffic and Parking – Projects and Actions
Updated March 2018
CRS held a large public meeting in November 2015 on the subject of Traffic and Parking on the Calthorpe Estate. Following this, eight projects were set up to address key issues raised. Smaller forums were held during 2016 to clarify needs and support the project teams. Of those eight projects, five are ongoing and three are now complete.
University of Birmingham
The University is undertaking a massive development programme that continues to bring more students and staff to the campus. Ensuring that the impact on residents is considered is a major concern for CRS and Traffic & Parking is represented in the regular meetings with the Director of Estates at the University.
Birmingham City University / The Village
The major developments at the BCU site on Westbourne Road have inevitably caused some problems, but the contractors do seem to have tried very hard to comply with the agreements. The expansion of BCU will almost double the number of students and parking provision on site is minimal. BCU has made additional parking arrangements for staff and students at Broadway Plaza, which is a short walk away. However, students are still parking in local developments and streets and this causes problems for residents. The BCU Vice-Chancellor is committed to being a ‘good neighbour’ and has offered to work with the CRS team to improve signage, access and parking disciplines
Berrow Drive/Hawthorne Road has been a most pressing issue with a rush hour rat-run through these narrow private roads and congestion caused by commuter parking. Some creative thinking by the local residents group and Mainstay adding traffic control measures to the planned resurfacing of the road will hopefully transform things. More widely, the team is looking at various measures to address parking problems, including revised road layouts, yellow lines and residents parking schemes.
Priory School Area
The area around the school entrance is a traffic and parking blackspot. Residents have been campaigning for many years about the risks and problems. Strong campaigning was supported by councillors and police but yielded only minor improvements. Mitigation actions coming from the impact of the A38 Cycleway may be an opportunity for improving this situation.
Footpaths and Cycleways
Sadly the recent death of Roy Watson robs us of an indefatigable worker for our environment. His campaigns for improved walking and cycling routes have delivered so many major improvements. His vision for a better environment was clear and CRS is committed to continuing his efforts.
Successfully Completed Projects
Irresponsible parking by commuters in this area created a nightmare for residents. Yellow lines are now in place following a persistent campaign and the situation is vastly improved.
Changes introduced in 2015 seem to have worked well and no new issues have been raised.
This project was initiated due to concerns about the proposal to build an annex for Harborne Primary School in the grounds of the Lordswood Schools with its entrance close to the junction of Woodbourne Road and Meadow Road. These roads are already a rush hour ‘rat-run’. The addition of pupil drop-off and pick-up would have created chaos. Our interest led to close scrutiny of the whole scheme and the project was withdrawn in favour of an alternative solution.
Engagement with Others
As stakeholders, we engage with the Calthorpe Estates management. Their plans for non-residential, as well as residential development affect us and for they have a huge influence on what is allowed.
Events held at the Birmingham Botanic Gardens do have a major impact in nearby streets. From discussions we expect that future events will include better management of visitor traffic and parking. Longer term, proposals for re-development of the Gardens could affect the amount of traffic coming into the area and we are trying to ensure this is not forgotten.
Problems of traffic and parking on the Calthorpe Estate are part of a wider picture affecting Birmingham and the West Midlands. We must be considerate of the needs of others and ensure that plans consider the impact on residents.
We have engaged with officers of Birmingham City Council who are developing travel strategies and the Transport Master Plan for the city and with the Selly Oak & Life Sciences Green Travel District Association. Our intention is to ensure that fair consideration is given to current problem areas and the impact of developments on residents and our part of the city. Pollution and congestion are damaging lives and ruining productivity.
Plans to increase cycling in the city are welcome, but consequential downsides must be considered. Overall, the proposed A38 Cycleway is a great idea, however, we have opposed the detailed changes at the junction with Priory Road and the opening up of a residential road in the Edgbaston Conservation Area (Wellington Road) as a new commuter ‘rat-run’. We think these changes will bring chaos and added dangers for pedestrians around Pebble Mill and the junctions of Priory Road with Pershore Road and Bristol Road, and around Priory School.