What is happening?

Kings Heath Low Traffic Neighbourhood is part of the Places for People project, which is trying to reduce traffic for safer walking and cycling, and to make it nicer to be outside for children to play and neighbours to chat.

In many parts of Birmingham, residents find their streets are busy with traffic, particularly when people are ‘rat running’ to avoid main roads. When traffic is reduced the neighbourhood becomes quieter, the air is cleaner, and streets feel safer.

The principle of Places for People is that residents can continue to drive onto their street, have visitors, get deliveries, etc, but it is made harder or impossible to drive straight through the area. Low traffic neighbourhoods are groups of residential streets bordered by main or ‘distributor’ roads (where non-local traffic should be) where through trips by motor vehicles are discouraged or restricted.

What even is a modal filter?

A modal filter, sometimes referred to as a road closure, is a road design that restricts the passage of certain types of vehicle. Examples of modal filters include cul-de-sacs, bollards, boom barriers and planters.

In the case of Kings Heath Wooden planters are being used combined with a removable bollard. The emergency services all have the ability to remove the bollard if needed although as far as I understand they would prefer to re route rather than remove them.

So how does this affect Kings Heath?

You can now see plans of the proposed changes in the area, including how the wider project area is broken down into smaller low traffic neighbourhoods. Most of the proposed changes are modal filters, that allow people on foot, bike or mobility scooter to pass but do not allow cars or other motor vehicles through.

Essentially the roads meeting the high street: Station Road has a bollard and planters at the end to stop traffic passing through. The same set up is on All Saint’s Road Hazelhurst Road, Colmore Road, Highbury Road and Silver Street. York Road (after feedback from businesses) has a bollard one end only so that they can still receive deliveries. Grange Road and Bank St currently do not have a bollard as discussion is ongoing with residents and businesses about concerns re parking.

There is a detailed PDF available that you can download here:

Kings Heath LTN Plans PDF