Birmingham: More canals than Venice, more congestion than Naples

More than a hundred European transport chiefs gathered in Birmingham on Wednesday to unveil a blueprint aimed at tackling road congestion. 

A38M trafficTransport authority Centro hosted the PIMMS Capital Final Conference at Highbury Hall, which marked the end of a three-year, Continent-wide initiative, dedicated to cutting carbon and boosting the economy.  The two day conference saw the launch of the Birmingham Manifesto on Mobility, which calls on both the UK and European Parliaments to fund more projects aimed at cutting congestion and carbon emissions.  The manifesto points towards the need for more people to switch from car to more sustainable forms of transport, such as bus, train, tram, cycling and walking.

Road congestion is already costing West Midlands companies more than £2.3 billion a year in late deliveries, wasted time and fuel. Figures last year also revealed how Birmingham was more congested than traffic hotspots such as Rome and Naples.  Rafael Cuesta, Centro’s head of strategic development said: “This project has been a fantastic opportunity to work closely with our European counterparts. We’ve been able to pick up some really interesting ideas from them and demonstrate some of the great projects we are delivering in the West Midlands such as the Metro tram extension through Birmingham city centre.

“By giving people real sustainable travel alternatives and a public transport network that can better connect them to jobs, training and education we can help boost our economy and cut carbon. The Birmingham Manifesto on Mobility shows our dedication to achieving this.”

The final conference saw experts on Mobility Management deliver their verdict on the programme’s success, including speakers from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional Policy. The project was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and made possible by the INTERREG IV C Programme.

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