Local Improvement Budget fund could enable Birmingham City Council to protect grass verges and pavement space from parked vehicles

Birmingham: Councillor Zaffar will be asking the Cabinet to approve a recommendation, on 14 December 2021, to create a Local Improvement Budget fund to improve localities.

Designed to tackle minor transport issues identified at ward level, the fund will enable the council to deliver transport and highways capital improvement schemes with a total of £1m of capital funding.

These schemes would otherwise be difficult to deliver because they do not match the funding criteria for transportation and highways programmes such as the Safety Scheme Programme and Highway Maintenance Programme.

Individual schemes costing less than £50,000 may contribute to improving air quality and the net-zero carbon target by 2030 such as those that:

enhance active travel routes;

reduce road traffic speeds;

increase one-way streets;

physically restrain vehicles with bollards and planters, and

protect grass verges and pavement space from parked vehicles.

Overall, the fund will support a range of programmes and projects which should contribute towards achieving the City Council’s key policies and priorities from the Birmingham Transport Plan.

Birmingham City Council Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar said:

The Local Improvement Budget fund will give local communities the power to resolve the transport issues that they face in their area. Whether that’s stopping anti-social parking on pavements, stopping dangerous speeding, or protecting grass verges, this fund will allow Birmingham City Council to make the improvements that residents want to see.

Across the city, residents are fed up with anti-social parking on their roads. We must be clear about this: pavements are for people and not cars. This fund will put empower local communities, not only to make our neighbourhoods more attractive, but also contribute to cleaning up our air.

Where is funding coming from?

£557,000 from the Highway Initiative funding which is a reserve set up from car parking surpluses to fund transportation and highways initiatives. Its utilisation towards the Fund is in line with the regulations which stipulate what parking surpluses can be utilised for.

The remainder of the balance of the Fund of up to £443,000 will come from various grants and contributions currently held in unapplied grant reserves as required.

How will proposed schemes be managed?

Schemes will be influenced by inputs from citizens and members and will be generated by officers within the council, this will help manage the overall list of schemes. The schemes will be assessed utilising the LIB Scheme Criteria Assessments checklist.

Who will approve schemes?

Approval of schemes would then be through the Transportation and Highways Board, in consultation with Cllr Zaffar as the Cabinet Member.

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