BOA Digital, Barrack Street, Birmingham
Case study

BOA Digital, Barrack Street, Birmingham

 “Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) Digital Technologies” is a brand new, purpose-built Academy for Students aged 11 to 18, opening in September 2022, which will deliver a specialist education in creative and digital technologies.

Main Contractor, Galliford Try, assembled a team of professionals who successfully bid for a Department for Education project to deliver this exciting new educational facility in Birmingham.

Mayer Brown were appointed to provide Transport Planning and Highway Design advice for the project.

Transport Planning
Infrastructure Design
Environmental Assessment

Details

Key Highways and Transport Concern for New School Proposal

As a new school proposal, the key highways and transport concern was the impact of the development proposals on the local highways network at the beginning and end of the school day, as well as any impact on parking throughout the day caused by staff or older pupils. This is partially addressed through the school’s unique admissions process and supported by knowledge gained at BOA’s existing facility, located further into the city centre, which has an exceptional record on encouraging active travel.

The site’s location on Barrack Street benefits from the many public transport links available in the centre of Birmingham but is circa 150m from the ring road which forms the boundary of the city centre. As such, the area around the site does not have the same parking restrictions that can be found in the city centre, and therefore it has been historically used by commuters seeking free parking to travel into the city centre.

 

Changes to Parking Restrictions

It was therefore devised that the scheme would be supported by changes to parking restrictions on Barrack Street and in the local area, to only permit resident parking, and to create zones for picking up and dropping off pupils at the start and end of the school day. These changes were discussed at length with Birmingham City Council and demonstrated to have a benefit for the local residents, who are currently impacted by unrestricted commuter parking. This was all set out and assessed in detail in a Transport Assessment, which supported the successful planning application.

School Travel Plan and Highway Measures

Mayer Brown also produced a School Travel Plan for the scheme, which echoed many of the policies and lessons learned at the existing BOA facility. This plan was devised to meet the requirement of Modeshift STARS, a national scheme that encourages schools to join a major effort to increase levels of sustainable and active travel, and a requirement of Birmingham City Council’s ‘young active travel initiative’.

Following grant of planning approval, Mayer Brown’s Infrastructure Design team developed a package of highway measures required to facilitate the development and benefit it’s users.

These included: alterations to formalise the development access points; provision of safe places for students to cross local roads by way of introducing both uncontrolled and controlled (zebra) crossings; amendments to bus stop locations; adjustments to kerbed radii at local junctions; alterations to parking restrictions.

Crucial to the delivery of the scheme was the precise placement of a new zebra crossing, which needed to be sited on the pedestrian “desire-line” without compromising the safety of pedestrians with regard to visibility to / from a pair of existing bus stops and an existing access junction serving a fire station.

By ensuring that Birmingham City Council and Local Bus Operators were consulted on the proposals and by following a process of Road Safety Auditing, a suitable solution was found which satisfied the requirements of all interested parties.

Also key to the development operating without detriment to the highway network is a series of alterations to parking restrictions outside the development. Mayer Brown liaised with Birmingham City Council to agree the introduction of “School Keep Clear” and “No Waiting at Any Time” restrictions, which were advertised to the public via a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process, before being permitted to be installed and becoming enforceable.

For further information or to discuss your project with our team of experts, contact us today.

 


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