Clean Air Zone ig­nores our views

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

DEAR Edi­tor, Coun­cil­lor Waseem Zaf­far’s ar­ti­cle in last week’s Post at­tack­ing Mayor Andy Street’s at­ti­tude to­wards the pro­posed Clean Air Zone was lack­ing in one im­por­tant fact : not a sin­gle men­tion about the out­come of the re­cent “con­sul­ta­tion” ex­er­cise on the merit or other­wise of the pro­posal. This of course is not un­typ­i­cal.

Not long ago North­field/Long­bridge res­i­dents had the op­por­tu­nity to take part in a “con­sul­ta­tion” process in con­nec­tion with the coun­cil’s lo­cal con­nec­tiv­ity plan.

We stud­ied the pro­posed traf­fic plans and en­deav­oured to of­fer our con­struc­tive thoughts on road clo­sures, and other re­lated is­sues. As far as I am aware this was merely a pa­per ex­er­cise to demon­strate com­mu­nity in­put, for noth­ing we sug­gested was acted upon.

We all left our names and ad­dresses on the forms pro­vided but noth­ing fur­ther was heard from those re­spon­si­ble for stag­ing the con­sul­ta­tion. The orig­i­nal pro­posal is be­ing car­ried out seem­ingly ig­nor­ing any com­mu­nity ob­ser­va­tions.

Cllr Zaf­far, re­spon­si­ble for trans­port and the en­vi­ron­ment, seems in­tent upon em­brac­ing the same cav­a­lier ap­proach. Say what you like but you are go­ing to get it any­way.

Andy Street has real reservations about shift­ing pol­lu­tion from one area to an­other, as we all do and as thou­sands in re­sponse to the “con­sul­ta­tion” made quite clear.

Few will deny that we need to tackle air pol­lu­tion but it has to be done pro­gres­sively, min­imis­ing the ef­fect upon jobs and the city’s econ­omy.

Block­ing off trunk roads like the A38 and di­vert­ing non-com­pli­ant traf­fic onto al­ready con­gested roads might tick a few boxes but it is no sub­sti­tute for a prop­erly thought through city-wide clean air pol­icy.

Be­fore Cllr Zaf­far crit­i­cises the mayor he

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