Well one thing is for sure it will be a lot quieter. These 8 lanes of roadway make a heck of a lot of noise and I am sure in terms of air pollution it is not good to linger to long on the bridge. (ps the shaking of the video is largely the bridge moving and not me – which is slightly disconcerting)
I wonder will the city see it as an opportunity. Will they be measuring the impact? This is a major thoroughfare but in other cases when road capacity has been reduced cities seem to cope extremely well…. so it will be great to see how the city copes.
But it is also an opportunity to try and persuade people to switch from the car to public transport. Will there be a campaign, with reduced price bus and rail fares to both mitigate the closure but also to tempt people into trying alternative travel arrangements. It is worth a try. Does anyone know what Birmingham City Council and Centro are planning?
I will be there filming it when the tunnels are closed and I bet it will be a lot healthier and quieter place. There is a longer term issue with this road system. It is a real barrier to the economic success of the city and the Jewellery Quarter. The development sites (sorry car parks) have lain undeveloped for decades and so a solution to this is urgently needed. Possible solutions might be:
1) Burying the tunnels completely – expensive but offering a real win win solution
2) Reusing the tunnels for metro/BRT/cycle routes
3) Some other imaginative use but not for cars!
I am not a transport planner; just an informed observer but the next few months will be very interesting.