Five wacky travel plans that never happened in Birmingham

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From a cable car system to a monorail – Birmingham has seen ambitious ideas to sort out trips around the city over the years.

This week, the idea of ​​closing the A38 tunnels for cars resurfaced with the publication of a Birmingham transport plan, likely to be adopted on October 12.

Traffic could be diverted to the A4540 ring road according to the document – although Cabinet Member Cllr Waseem Zaffar (Lab, Lozells) said there was “no plan at this stage” for the project.

READ MORE:Dividing Birmingham into segments could begin in a few months in a ‘massive vision’ for travel

Here we take a look at some of the other great transportation concepts that have been discussed over the years.

A cable car in the city center

An idea for a cable car system in Birmingham from 2012

In 2012, transport chiefs asked the architects behind the Thames cable car in London to make plans which would move passengers between the main stations in Birmingham.

Current reports indicate that the system operated on a “continuous loop”, providing a “turn up and go” system connecting New Street station, the Bull Ring and HS2 terminal at Moor Street / Curzon Street.

The idea was being considered by the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE) which predated Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

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A real authentic monorail

What the planned monorail on Coventry Road might have looked like if the plans had already seen the light of day.
What the planned monorail on Coventry Road might have looked like if the plans had already seen the light of day

Plans for a monorail in the region were first proposed in 2009 and have been championed by the Greater Birmingham Monorail Company and the Birmingham Business Focus (BBF) lobby group.

The system was reportedly considered for both the A34 corridor and the A45 Coventry Road connecting New Street station to Birmingham International Airport in 16 minutes.

The project was scrapped in favor of the Sprint bus network, which is expected to launch with hydrogen buses from 2022 and tram-type buses from 2023.

A Birmingham metro

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london underground

Former Birmingham Council chief Mike Whitby has suggested plans worth £ 3bn underground transport system for the city in 2004.

A £ 150,000 feasibility study has been carried out, but a call has been made to expand the Midland metro instead.

In 2018, CityMetric’s John Elledge and the New Statesman reiterated calls for a metro system in Birmingham and TfWM apparently did not rule out that possibility.

A helipad in London

Five wacky travel plans that never happened in Birmingham
A helicopter runway was planned for Birmingham in the 1950s, connecting the city to London in an hour.

Looking further back in time, Birmingham was home to its own

heliport

in the 1950s, connecting the city to London in an hour.

Hansard indicates that the Hay Mills rotor station was used by Kidderminster MP Sir Gerald Nabarro, who said at the time “we are on the threshold of the helicopter era in Britain for internal transport. of passengers “.

But the short-term service would have ended for passengers in 1952 and for freight in 1954.

A great tunnel

A visualization of Great Charles Street without the tunnels from 2014
A visualization of Great Charles Street without the tunnels from 2014

The option of replacing the A38 tunnels with a giant great tunnel the length of downtown was envisioned at one point, it was reported in 2014.

The underground highway is said to have been modeled after Boston’s Big Dig Highway, which took over 15 years to build.

The concept was to free up the inner city space occupied by the existing tunnels for other uses – much like the idea of ​​moving traffic to the ring road seeks to do.

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