Two stories that caught my eye this morning on the Birmingham Live website that just reveal how the Agenda 21 is progressing nicely here.
The first one is how this is all an affront to local democracy:
The scheme will see the removal of the A34 flyover in favour of putting all traffic onto a dual carriageway at ground level – objections from thousands of local residents have been submitted
For those not familiar with the area, this flyover in Perry Barr, north Birmingham, provides a through-route along the A34 for traffic heading from Birmingham towards the M6 and Walsall. It may be ugly, but it does a decent job of keeping the traffic moving. Seems that despite objections from 15,000 residents, as well as from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Birmingham City Council (BCC) are going to press ahead and demolish the flyover, and replace it with a new dual-carriageway.
The scheme will see the removal of the A34 flyover in favour of putting all traffic onto a dual carriageway at ground level, while a cycle path and improved public transport services also form part of the proposals.
The council has received objections from thousands of local residents to the plans, with 15,000 signatures gathered across several petitions.
A public consultation into the proposals, conducted by the council, also saw a huge 81 per cent of respondents voice their opposition, while letters of concern have also been received from both Sandwell and Walsall councils.
Despite this, though, the cabinet today gave the go-ahead for the scheme, despite calls from opposition councillors to conduct further studies into its potential impact on both the local area and wider city.
This is of course all going to cost £27.1 million, but I’m pretty sure as other projects go, the final figure will be much higher in the end.
It just goes to show that the public consultation that was undertaken was a complete waste of time, and was just an exercise in ‘feigning democracy’, as no doubt the decision had already been made – and it will be interesting to see which companies get awarded the contracts to ‘deliver’ this project, these have probably already been decided as well – and the objections of 15,000 are also similarly being discarded.
If its part of “The Agenda” it’s happening no matter who objects.
Anyway, the final quote from that article from BCC leader Ian Ward is also quite telling, and leads nicely into the second article:
“We have to move toward sustainable public transport in the future, and the reliance on private cars is simply not sustainable.”
The city’s network of fume-filled road tunnels could be shut down to cars and more steps taken to ban motorists as part of a ‘clean air’ masterplan being drawn up by Birmingham City Council
A masterplan for transport and roads that could dramatically transform Birmingham by closing more of the city’s network of fume-filled tunnels to cars and making the centre ‘car free’ is being drawn up by council chiefs.
The plan of action, currently being drawn up behind closed doors, could result in sweeping changes that would change the city forever and potentially ‘prevent cars from entering the city centre’.
An outline of the plans refers to the city centre “free from traffic” and access to the city centre “limited, with no through trips”.
Today Birmingham Conservatives accused the Labour leadership of keeping the plans ‘secret’ and have called for the proposals to be published immediately.
My emphasis in bold. Radical plans being drawn up ‘behind closed doors’? By a Labour-run council? How very ‘democratic’!
But a council spokesman said there was nothing secret about them – the plans were being discussed at two council meetings this week and would be unveiled in November once ready, when the public would be widely consulted on the proposals.
And I’m pretty sure that consultation would be a waste of time too?
“This plan will set out the council’s long term vision for the future of transport in our city, focusing on the movement of people rather than vehicles.
“This means prioritising public transport, walking and cycling provision, offering those who live and work in the city more sustainable travel options and reducing over-reliance on private car use.”
“As has been widely publicised, Birmingham is currently in the midst of a public health crisis due to poor air quality and we have also established a cross-party, multi-agency climate taskforce to develop the city’s response to the climate emergency declared by the council in June. With continued population growth, we need to keep the city moving in a sustainable way, both future-proofing our transport network and ensuring everyone has clean air to breathe.”
Oh yeah, the ‘climate emergency’ declared by the council, for which they don’t have any ‘plan of action’, but are going to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds coming up with one. 🤣
Now to be honest, I don’t drive myself, so I am a frequenter of public transport here, and I can tell you that I would welcome some changes that would ease traffic congestion and allow bus services to operate more reliably, but even I can see this is all very draconian, and a lot of people are going to be affected.
“Improved public transport will be the principle means used to connect the centre to outlying districts and beyond. Access to the city centre for private cars will be limited with no through trips. Walking and cycling will be prioritised.
“Residential neighbourhoods and local centres will be places where people are put first. Cars will no longer dominate street life around homes and schools. Active travel – walking and cycling – will become how most people get around their locality most of the time.
“Parking will be used as a means to manage demand for travel by car through availability, pricing and restrictions. Where redevelopment potential exists, land currently occupied by car parking will be put to more productive use.”
It’s all reading straight off the Agenda 21 blueprint. And its almost as if they want to drive the ‘poorer’ people out of the city centre area, which will be reserved for the wealthy elites who’ll be the only people who can afford to own and run a car, while the ‘rest of us’ get herded onto local public transport, operated of course by private companies in the name of profit.
The council has come under fire from motorists for its efforts to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the city centre. A new Clean Air Zone, which would impose charges on drivers of high-polluting vehicles, is due to come into force next July.
And the council recently announced it was also proposing to consult on plans to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy, which would charge businesses a £500 annual charge for every parking space they own as part of a new crackdown to “make travel by private car less attractive.”
The parking levy proposals, which would hit businesses inside the A4540 Middleway ring road, would aim to generate more than £7 million a year to plough into green and alternative transport schemes.
An estimated 14,587 parking spaces would be caught by the new levy.
Or more likely the £7m a year would be ploughed elsewhere, into corrupt councillors and council officials bank accounts.
If it’s Agenda 21, always look for the overuse of two words in particular, “vibrant” and “sustainable”. I’ll close with a quote from Cllr Waseem Zaffar:
“We’ve got to massively improve the public transport offer within our city. We’ve got thousands of jobs being created, there’s a real vibrant economy within our city that’s growing, and we’ve got thousands and thousands of people who have moved, or are in the process of moving, to our city.
“Doing nothing, or just having the CAZ, will not be enough. We need to future-proof the way that people move about in our city, future proof the public transport offer, to ensure that we’re a sustainable city, we’re tackling our environmental challenges, and at the same time moving people across our city in an efficient way.”
Read into that what you will. The Commonwealth Games come to Birmingham in 2022. Don’t bring your car.
These ‘big sporting events’ are a catalyst, a “cover story” if you like, in order to implement Agenda 21 without anyone suspecting.