In Birmingham, a plan to move traffic off side streets and make areas more bike and pedestrian friendly has been made permanent. But the Low Traffic Neighborhood (LTN) in Kings Heath remains highly controversial.

Proponents say the scheme is better for the environment by getting people out of their cars, walking and cycling. But opponents say modal filters, which prevent cars from passing on certain streets, simply push traffic onto surrounding roads, increasing congestion, idling and pollution.

The Places for People initiative, to give it its official title, started in 2020. Since then, local social media groups have been abuzz with debate with claims and counter-claims about the success or failure of the scheme.

READ MORE: Low-traffic neighborhoods of Moseley and Kings Heath to be made permanent

Similar schemes in other cities, dubbed the 15 Minute Cities, have also become the center of attention, the center of conspiracy theories. Opponents say the plan is an effort to control the population and keep people from moving.

Following the decision to keep the measures in place permanently, BirminghamLive wanted to speak to people on the ground to get their point of view on the change in local design, the impact on lives and businesses. There were no conspiracy theories, but there was a level of unease.

We found that the issue remains so divisive that some were unwilling to speak up or put their name on an opinion, fearing that friends, neighbors, or members of social media groups discussing the issue would call them later to explain. . .


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