Improving urban mobility in the UK

In Birmingham (UK), the low quality of cross-city transport means Birmingham is 33 per cent less productive than a French city of equal size, according to one recent study.


The Birmingham City Council is intensively focused on solving this problem in a sustainable way. The Birmingham Transport Plan 2031 proposes a set of investment principles to reduce transport’s impact on the environment and to support the city’s commitment to becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030. The city aims to reconnect communities by prioritizing people over cars, and to revitalize the city center.

Our UK affiliate Aggregate Industries is supporting this approach by supplying concrete and other materials to the Midland Metro Alliance, a team of design, planning and construction experts which is extending the city’s tram system. Currently in its second phase, the project’s 840m stretch from Birmingham's Town Hall to Centenary Square sees the tram switch to pure battery power. This negates the need for overhead electric lines while preserving the visual appeal of the surrounding historic buildings.

Here and elsewhere, Artevia® exposed aggregate is being used as a surface layer on portions of the track to add texture, enhance visual appeal and safety. In this second phase, Artevia Exposed's naturally non-slip finish makes it an ideal for foot traffic over the tram lines. This project is scheduled to finish ahead of Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022.