Demonstration for road safety in Birmingham planned as two pedestrians die in collisions

Better Streets for Birmingham campaigners are holding a demonstration against deaths on our roads on Saturday (January 27)
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Campaign group Better Streets for Birmingham is set to hold a demonstration for road safety in the city centre in response to two fatal road collisions in recent weeks.

Former Crossroads actor Charmian Abrahams, aged 96, died after being struck by a van on Lordswood Road in Harborne last Monday (January 15). Another woman lost her life on Witton Lane in Aston, near the junction of Aston Hall Road and Villa Park, on Thursday, December 21. Police said she was aged in her 40s. She has not been named.

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Better Streets for Birmingham (BSfB) said: “Two pedestrians have been killed on our streets in the last month. These tragedies can and should be prevented. We demand no more deaths on our roads and put a full stop to this senseless loss of life.”

The demonstration is being held at noon on Saturday, January 27 outside the entrance to University College Birmingham on Great Charles Street Queensway. BSfB added: “Every day dangerous drivers terrorise our communities. Every fortnight someone is killed in a car crash in our city. Nobody needs to die like this. Human life is not a price worth paying for our historical failure to tackle this problem.” The campaigners are demanding:

  • Dangerous driver are removed from roads
  • If they have killed someone they lose their licence for good
  • Our streets are laid out to keep everyone safe as they move around

What is West Midlands Police doing to improve road safety in Birmingham?

West Midlands Police has launched Operation Triton with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM)  and Birmingham City Council in a bid to make roads safer in Birmingham and across the region.

TfWM has also refreshed its Road Safety Strategy with an aim to support work towards Vision Zero. A spokesperson explained: “This is a dedicated initiative aimed at tackling dangerous driving and improving safety on our roads. Our primary mission is simple yet crucial – to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.

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“We also aim to disrupt and deter criminals who abuse the road network. We are working with communities and partners, including West Midlands Police, local councils to create safer roads for everyone.

“Our proactive approach involves active patrolling of key areas, enforcing speed limits and protecting our communities from the hazards of excessive speed and other road-related issues. We are conducting regular operations on the roads focusing on offences known including:

  • Speeding
  • Drink and drug driving
  • Using a mobile phone while driving
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Inappropriate child safety measures and window tints that hinder visibility.

Better Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay MillsBetter Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay Mills
Better Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay Mills

What else is Birmingham City Council doing to improve road safety?

Birmingham City ouncil has recently consulted on plans to reduce speed limits on main roads from 40mph to 30mph. The authority has also launched a consultation on a new Road Harm Reduction Strategy aimed at tackling the “unaccepteable number of road collisions in which people are killed and seriously injured”.

The strategy was announced earlier this month with the council saying it “renews and reinforces the council’s commitment to Vision Zero - the campaign to eliminate deaths and serious injury. The consultation runs until April 5. You can read about it here: Road Harm Reduction Strategy.

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Councillor Liz Clements, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We need to reclaim Birmingham’s streets and public spaces for people, not cars. The majority of travel time in the city is spent in these spaces, yet many of our local streets are congested, unhealthy and uninviting environments.

“For too long the needs of motorised vehicles have been prioritised over the needs of people and this must change. Our streets should be well designed, attractive and sustainable places to live.

“We have been doing a lot of work to change priorities and make roads and public spaces safer for communities and this strategy continues that work. I invite all road users to respond to our consultation on this important document.”

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