RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST
West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 7th August 2019
Please find below a summary of our findings.
Birmingham City Council recently proposed a road safety intervention at a local junction due to accidents at that junction. The proposed intervention did not include any ‘vertical deflection’ traffic calming measures (e.g. speed cushions or a table-top at the junction) designed to slow traffic. Instead, it included a full set of traffic lights which would have, on the admission of the Council, attracted even more motor vehicle traffic onto unclassified residential roads.
When concerned local residents enquired with the Council why vertical deflection traffic calming measures were not proposed they informed us that as the road was a ‘blue route’ (priority route for emergency services) this was not an option. It later transpired that this policy only applies to Birmingham City Council’s relationship with the emergency services, and was not replicated anywhere else.
We are concerned that this policy may be endangering local residents unless it is supported by evidence demonstrating the benefits to emergency services outweigh the risks of people being hurt or killed by speeding traffic.
With reference to the above, please provide me:
A copy of any written policy that fits the description of the policy referred to above and/or any policy or position that references traffic calming measures.
Copies or references to all academic research and/or other evidence that you rely on in respect of your policies or position on traffic calming measures.
All records of the number of times you have been consulted on the design and implementation of traffic calming measures by Birmingham City Council since 2005, your response (with rationale and supporting evidence) to that consultation, and any subsequent analysis of the impact of the scheme (if realised) to the delivery of your services.
Any other policy position, paper, evidential basis and record that may influence or inform your hypothetical response to a proposal of vertical deflection traffic calming measures (e.g. speed cushions, table-tops etc) at the junction of Vicarage Road, Avenue Road and Abbots Road in the B14 area of Birmingham.
West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) pride themselves in ‘Making the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier’. Every day we are making a very real and positive difference – to people and families in our communities, to businesses and to visitors to the West Midlands.
Our prevention work focuses on reducing people’s vulnerability to the type of emergencies to which we respond. With one our Prevention priorities being;
fewer people will be killed or seriously injured on West Midlands roads and we will keep our transport networks moving, as we work with the West Midlands Combined Authority and other organisations to develop and deliver interventions that support the West Midlands Regional Road Safety Strategy.
WMFS are always consulted in the process of design and implementation of traffic calming measures by all Local Authorities forming the West Midlands. This consultation process offers WMFS to provide feedback around potential traffic calming measures however, as these measures are designed to reduce speed of traffic and therefore reduce injuries and accidents we are largely in favour of the proposed changes. These consolations are returned to the relevant Local Authority but are not held within our systems for future use.
WMFS do not have a policy to support or detail this process but we work closely with Local Authorities and partner agencies whilst utilising our incident data to identify accident ‘hot spots’ to focus our Prevention work to target our activity to both vulnerable areas and community demographics.
If you have any queries about this freedom of information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW
Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.