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Birmingham considers 'super-tunnel' under city centre

Birmingham is weighing up a ‘super-tunnel’ under the city centre to combat traffic congestion.

The underground motorway is being considered by Birmingham City Council as a way of reducing pressure on the A38 and freeing up development space.

According to The Birmingham Post, the re-routing of the road is a part of the Birmingham Mobility Action Plan (BMAP) white paper, which will formally be published on 13 November, setting out the council’s 20-year vision for improving transport.

The tunnel being proposed is described as similar to one beneath the US city of Boston.

The A38 is regarded as a barrier to development and connectivity in the city centre.

Other options being considered include joining up the existing St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels or simply filling them in and ushering traffic around rather than through the city core.

David Harris, transport policy manager at the city council, said: “It is about people, not vehicles, and better ways of moving people through the city. We want a walkable city. The A38, particularly where it comes out of St Chad’s tunnel, seems to create a massive barrier.

“Also in Great Charles Street there are better ways for movement between the city core and the Jewellery Quarter.

“Basically, we are saying there are options for the tunnels. Do you close them or join them up or close them and build new ones?

“Imagine Lancaster Circus with a big thoroughfare through it or Suffolk Street Queensway without an underpass. It can be quite a game-changer.”

The A38 currently sees 85,000 traffic movements daily, around half of which involve journeys by people wishing to get from one side of the city to the other.

 

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