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Mixed views on huge driving changes plan in Birmingham city centre

Plans to transform Birmingham’s historic relationship with the car have drawn a mixed response.

The city council was today, Tuesday, October 10, outlining radical proposals which would include closing the A38 Queensway tunnel to cars to tackle poor air quality in the city and boost healthier forms of travel.

And the area inside the A4540 ring road – the same space as the city’s new Clean Air Zone – would be split into seven segments, with drivers having to travel between zones via an outer route.

READ MORE: Live updates: City’s radical plan to drive out cars and ‘transform lives’

There are also plans for 20mph speed limits in all residential areas and more cycle and walkways.

The majority of responses on BirminghamLive’s Facebook page were opposed to the changes, although comments elsewhere were more supportive.

On Twitter, one user said: “All cities need to move from being car centric to public transport & cycle centric. Doesn’t stop cars from being there but they shouldn’t be the priority.”

And Xavier Brice, the head of walking and cycling group Sustrans, tweeted: “Fantastic to see Birmingham taking lessons from Ghent in Belgium to tackle car dependency. To make it easier for people to walk and cycle you also need to make it a little bit harder to use the car for very short trips.”

But not all were in favour.

On social media, one correspondent said: “Unbelievable. This is the major route in and out of Birmingham via the Aston Expressway. It’s ridiculous.”

Another said: “Closing these tunnels to traffic will result in queues on the surface, and slow moving traffic, probably causing more pollution.”

And a third said: “Complete joke this is, I have to use that tunnel a lot to get to the Children’s Hospital.”

The plan will appear before city council leaders October 12, with approval expected.

Follow live updates on the plans here.

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