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Friday, July 01, 2005

From icBirmingham:

Almost 40 per cent of Birmingham's road network will be designated blue or green routes as part of a controversial new transport policy.

Existing or planned speed humps and other traffic calming measures on blue routes will be subject to review, a move that could lead to some of them being removed or replaced by speed cameras.

Senior councillors said they wanted safety measures outside schools to be protected as Birmingham City Council gave more details of the blue routes, which will formally introduce a "presumption against road humps, speed cushions, road tables" on designated roads unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The move, unique in the UK, is designed to cut response times for the emergency services, which helped the council map the entire 1,600 miles of road network in order of priority....

At a press conference yesterday, West Midlands Fire Service said it believed the measures would save lives, although it admitted it would be impossible to prove.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it welcomed the plan and potential for cutting response times, although stopped short of saying the new plan would actually save lives....

Responding to fears about existing speed calming measures outside schools on blue routes, Coun Gregory said: "We will not jeopardise safety. Anyone who thinks we we are going to start ripping up speed cushions tomorrow had better think again."

Rather than speed humps, he said, speed cameras may be used to calm traffic on blue routes.

However, road safety campaigners voiced concerns about the proposals. A spokeswoman for road safety charity Brake said: "Speed humps are proven to save lives and prevent serious injuries.

"Birmingham City Council has a responsibility to protect road users, particularly vulnerable road users such as children on foot, by controlling traffic speeds.

"Until there is research showing that the risk posed to emergency vehicle occupants outweighs the risk posed to road users by speeding traffic, blue routes should not be put in place."...

posted by Ontario  # 12:36


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