Birmingham City Council has said ‘this will cost lives’ as it takes action on its transport and road safety chief

Road safety campaigners have urged the Labor leaders of Birmingham City Council to rethink the decision to scrap the separate transport and highways mandate as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, warning it could “cost lives”.

Cllr John Cotton, the council’s leader, and deputy leader Cllr Sharon Thompson opted to step down from the role held for the past year by Liz Clements, a fierce supporter of active travel and public transport. Instead, her role will be reintegrated into a general transport and environment brief that also includes waste and parks, held by Cllr Majid Mahmood, who, as well as being a cabinet member, is also a solicitor and partner in a law firm. lawyer.

Cyclist Cllr Clements was approached to move to the finance brief but, in light of the decision to relinquish his portfolio, chose to return to the backbenches. The move comes as the region’s specialist walking and cycling commissioner, Adam Tranter, announced he would not continue in his role under new Labor mayor Richard Parker.

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The role was introduced by Tory Mayor Andy Street to promote road safety projects. In a statement, Mr Tranter said he had decided to “step aside so that the new administration can develop its own active travel plans”.

Road safety lobby group Better Streets for Birmingham said they were “deeply concerned” by the simultaneous loss of two strong road safety advocates and the city council’s decision. “The stake is too great. This misstep jeopardizes the delivery of the vital transportation plan and will cost lives,” they said in a statement.

Cllr Clements, when asked about her resignation, said: “I was offered another Cabinet role that I didn’t want, so I resigned. I gave my all for transport and motorways and wanted to carry on but it’s up to the leader to choose his cabinet and assign roles I will continue to campaign for London-style public transport and safe walking routes and by bike. It is what I have spent my political life doing and it is my passion.

The financial information was given to Cllr Karen McCarthy, who has moved on from her job overseeing children and families. New to Cabinet is Cllr Mick Brown (Lab, Gravelly Hill), who takes McCarthy’s place.