Jam Tomorrow? TRAFFIC CONGESTION Chris Cocks, Partner in the Agency Team at Donaldsons, Answers a Question

The Birmingham Post (England), March 22, 2007 | Go to article overview

Jam Tomorrow? TRAFFIC CONGESTION Chris Cocks, Partner in the Agency Team at Donaldsons, Answers a Question


Byline: Chris Cocks

I am considering acquiring a property in Birmingham city centre. What are the likely implications of an imposed traffic reduction scheme on day-to-day operations and long-term capital value?

A City centre traffic congestion is highly topical - not only as a result of recent incidents that have led to near-gridlock, but also on the current raft of new policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

The Government has spoken about the possibility of creating congestion charging zones in larger regional cities.

While the concept is a possibility in Birmingham, the extent of the business district could make it ineffective.

An outer ring road zone, for example, would encompass Hockley, Aston Expressway, Newtown, Digbeth, Highgate and Five Ways - undoubtedly impacting on the industries remaining in these areas.

Depending on the type of your business, it would be important to consider public transport availability to your proposed address, any shift patterns and the need for deliveries at certain times of the day or night.

Congestion zone charges for deliveries between 7am and 6.30pm - as in London - would impact on costs and may be impossible to pass that on to customers.

If, however, a traffic scheme could be implemented that allowed essential delivery of goods within the core and therefore led to smaller spikes in the levels of congestion, it would reduce traffic delays, levels of peak time pollution and reduce the costs inflicted on business due to serious delays.

Red routes also have their part to play and are now being created along the Stratford, Tyburn and Walsall Roads. As far as capital values are concerned, there is no doubt that a property with excellent communication links will always be a more attractive proposition to potential buyers than one that does not. …

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