Key Birmingham roads could have their speed limits increased as a spin-off from council plans to introduce 20mph limits throughout the city.
Drivers on main routes and dual carriageways, like the Middle Ring Road, could see 30mph sections changed to 40mph in a bid to speed up commuter traffic.
Roads earmarked for a rise include New John Street, Icknield Street, Watery Lane and Bordesley Middleway – bringing them into line with the remainder of the Middle Ring Road.
But Birmingham Friends of the Earth believes the move could create a barrier to cyclists and pedestrians around the city centre.
Coun James McKay, cabinet member for a green safe and smart city, said: “These proposals have taken a fresh look at speed limits on all our roads, suggesting 20mph for many of them, but also recognising that different roads serve different purposes – it’s common sense that a dual carriageway should be treated differently to a residential cul de sac.
“With regards to specific proposals for specific roads, we’ve put the detailed plans out there, and I look forward to seeing the comments that come back in.”
More controversially James Watt Queensway, the road leading from Lancaster Circus to Matthew Boulton College, will see an increase from 20mph to 30mph – bringing it into line with the rest of Queensway. The road is crossed by students going to and from the Aston University campus.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth spokesman Julien Pritchard said: “Increasing the speed limits on parts of the Middleway and Queensway just for sake of consistency, risks making these roads an even greater physical and psychological barrier for those who need to cross them.
“Sections of these roads run near schools, places of work, shops and places of worship. These proposals could make these roads more daunting and dangerous to cross for people looking to get to these locations, or for people looking to get into the city centre on foot or by bike.
“At a time when the city council is looking to introduce 20mph limits on residential roads, they appear to be going in the opposite direction with a less people-centred approach along our ring roads.”