More than any city in the UK, Birmingham's growth has been nurtured and shaped by the car.
But has it helped or hindered the development of other transport modes? Transport Correspondent Campbell Docherty considers the issues...
It?s obvious to anyone who visits Birmingham, as they negotiate the ring road or find themselves walking in one of the forbidding pedestrian underpasses beneath the Queensway, that the car has been the uncontested king for a long, long time.
The sheer scale of the motor industry and the strength of its tentacles in related sectors in the West Midlands economy has left an indelible mark.
The way arterial roads slice through communities has even been cited as a reason for the city?s gun and gang culture.
Like a landscape carved by the Ice Age, Birmingham bears the marks (or scars?) of the car industry.
But does it still govern the way Brummies run their city? Or is the way Birmingham is run a consequence of our inability to contemplate life without the car?
A transport debate a few years ago ? one of countless vexed, hand-ringing sessions about congestion fears ? was chaired by Birmingham City Council?s transport cabinet member Stewart Stacey, normally a loud champion of public transport.
But there he was being berated by green-leaning members of the audience for daring to suggest the political reality of Birmingham was you cannot fully tackle the car because the voters love them.
Fast forward to today and a Conservative-led city council, the suspension of bus lanes, the sidelining of other bus schemes and a wish to run an underground as opposed to trams sharing the roads with cars.
But then the administration denies being ?anti-bus? and, by extension, biased towards the car.
Many disbelieve them but you do get the feeling that there?s a healthy silent proportion of the city that is rather pleased with it all.
When virtually all major British cities have instituted some sort of mass-transit system for its inhabitants, Birmingham is still looking one way but driving the other.
But maybe rather than being the last city to tackle the motorist, Birmingham is actually the last bastion that honestly recognises what the people want.
New Government figures reveal that the cost of owning a car for Britain?s 24.5 million motorists has fallen by 11 per cent in real terms since 1975, while rail and bus fares have climbed 70 and 66 per cent respectively.
Ignoring inflation, the data took into account the cost of buying a car, maintenance, petrol, tax and insurance.
Since Labour returned to power in 1997, motoring is six per cent cheaper while bus fares have risen almost 16 per cent and a rail ticket is seven per cent more expensive than in 1997.
Startling stuff in a country where moans and gripes about the roads and the cost of driving have become a mantra.
These self same people might wonder if there?s any evidence for congestion given the stark statistic that there are now 12 million more cheaper cars on the road network compared with 1975.
So congestion gets worse, the railways cost more but remain unreliable and the quality of journeys remains patchy at best.
The majority of Brummies and Brits clearly believe they cannot survive without their cars.
But will this city and the nation survive the car?
Now read the arguments for and against. Can Brummies survive without their cars?
Yes, says Friends of the Earth's Chris Crean:
No, says Nigel Humphries of the West Midlands Spokesman for the Association of British Drivers: