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Travel and Transport

Birmingham suffers illegal levels of air pollution, contributing to 900 early deaths each year, as well as global heating and climate change. 40% of trips made by car are under two miles, meaning they could be replaced with cycling, walking or public transport. Birmingham has a vast network of canals, walking routes, cycle routes and connected green space, providing space for exercise and for commuting. The cost of driving has also become increasingly expensive. What could you do differently?

How to make a change

  • Use public transport such as buses, trains and trams.
  • Lift share where possible with people travelling the same way as you, either through existing connections or through apps like Lift Share.
  • Save petrol by walking to local shops.
  • Identify useful bus routes that will suit some of your journeys.
  • Try hiring an electric scooter for short journeys in the city. Bike hire schemes are also available through the West Midlands Cycle Hire Scheme, including eBikes, which can make cycling more accessible.
  • Avoid flying. One long-haul flight can amount to half a UK person’s yearly carbon footprint, so opt for more local holidays and travel by train where you can.
  • If you can afford to, offset the carbon of any flights you do take. This can cost as little as a few pounds, depending on where you’re flying to. Whilst this alone won’t ‘cancel out’ the damage, it does help us take accountability for the pollution that we absolutely can’t avoid.
  • Change the system. Have your say. Birmingham is in the middle of an active travel transport initiative, building upon emergency measures introduced during lockdowns to create more space for walking, cycling and active transport in the city. Get involved through the council website to have your suggestions heard.

Example Actions

  • Use the bus or train instead of driving for (x) number of journeys
  • Replace (x) car journeys a week with walking, scooting or cycling
  • Lift Share with someone making the same journey as you – like a colleague that lives nearby

Useful Links

ecobirmingham offer plenty of cycling tuition including route-finding sessions, bike ability, and bike maintenance. There is a well-established cycling community to get involved with and help you feel more confident cycling in the city. Have a look at the cycling group page on our website.

Let’s Ride offer mixed and ladies only guided rides across the city run by community cycling clubs and trained British Cycling ride leaders. Enter your postcode to find one near you.

CityMapper is an app for planning journeys, which suggests a good range of routes including active travel and public transport with live updates / timings.

LiftShare is an app for finding or offering lifts to people making the same or similar journeys as yourself.

West Midlands Cycle Hire Scheme allows you to hire bikes short term, through the Beryl cycle app. eBikes are now available across the region, making cycling more accessible.

Brompton Bike Hire is another bike hire scheme, specifically for Brompton cycles, including multi-day hire, meaning that bikes aren’t limited by city constraints and could be used for short trips or city cycling holidays.

On the Luce have a guide on offsetting flight carbon, including how to redcue your carbon in the first instance, but also find an appropriate scheme.

Sign up for Birmingham City Council’s Newsletter to be notified when they have open consultation for transport in the city and have your say.

Download an Action Plan so you can set your own goals!

The One Planet Living ® framework is created by Bioregional – find out more at:

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