An innovative campaign by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry has earned the city business group a top award.
The Chamber received the prize for policy and campaigning within the UK Chamber network at the British Chambers of Commerce 2008 BCC Awards in a ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London.
Katie Teasdale, BCI’s senior policy adviser, was presented with the award for the most effective campaign following a ‘Quick Wins’ programme introduced across the West Midlands to ease road congestion.
Over 500 delegates from UK Chambers and their member companies gathered at the ceremony to hear the results of the awards, which recognise outstanding achievement across the 52 accredited Chambers of Commerce in the UK and within the UK’s business community.
Ms Teasdale said: “Congestion is a serious and growing problem in the West Midlands – with traffic delays currently costing the region £2.2 billion a year and each business an estimated £20,000 per year.
“A ‘Quick Win’ is any initiative that can play a role in improving the capacity and efficiency of the region’s road network by delivering easy and cost-efficient solutions. Examples include introducing yellow boxes and re-sequencing traffic lights.”
The Chamber, working with the West Midlands Business Transport Group (WMBTG) and regional transport chiefs, has campaigned for several years to see ‘Quick Wins’ introduced.
Since 2007, BCI has been working with transport authority Centro and local authorities, through the West Midlands planning and transport sub-committee, to identify, fund and implement a programme that will make a real difference to businesses’ journey times.
The Chamber surveyed its members on the worst traffic hot spots in the region and worked with local authorities to identify quick solutions.
Ms Teasdale said: “It is obviously very pleasing to see the Chamber’s work in this arena acknowledged nationally. However, it is even more important that a scheme of ‘Quick Wins’ is now being implemented across the region to the benefit of all road users.
“Businesses have been at the heart of this endeavour, highlighting congestion blackspots and suggesting just how these problems can be solved.
“This is the latest, and I hope by no means the last, example of the business community and local authorities working together in the best interests of the region’s transport infrastructure.”