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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 12:11 GMT
Traffic barred from Broad Street
Birmingham's Broad Street
Broad Street will be closed to traffic on weekend nights
The heart of Birmingham's entertainment zone is to become a traffic-free zone on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Birmingham City Council is banning vehicles, including taxis, from the city's Broad Street to protect the thousands of people who visit its bars, nightclubs and restaurants every weekend.

But under the new proposals, buses will still be allowed to drive down the street.

Taxis will have to pick up fares from side streets in the area.

'Safety scheme'

The ban will run from 2100 GMT on Friday and Saturday nights.


If we're talking about the safety of the public, then you either have the streets clear or not

Mike Shingler, Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association

Mohammed Rasheed, chairman of the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association says that if taxis are banned, then buses should also have to find an alternative route.

He told BBC Radio WM: "There shouldn't have been any priority given to buses.

"In a meeting we had with police, they told us Broad Street would be closed off completely."

But Councillor Stewart Stacey, cabinet member for transportation, says buses are needed on Broad Street whereas taxis can operate successfully from nearby.

"This scheme is primarily for safety and the safety of people in Broad Street and a lot of the traffic along Broad Street is people cruising," he said.

'No consultation'

"The taxis will have ranks in the end of the roads that come into Broad Street.

"I know that originally the buses would be there until midnight and then stop, but it didn't seem sensible that those buses should take a different route."

He added everyone concerned had been involved in the decision.

But Mike Shingler, who is also from the Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association, says there was no consultation.

"If we're talking about the safety of the public, then you either have the streets clear or not."


Click here to go to BBC Birmingham Online
See also:

05 Nov 02 | England
02 Jun 02 | England
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