Up the junction

Walsall’s new ring road, by bicycle, on a dull weekday morning. And they wonder why we think it’s crap.

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6 Responses to Up the junction

  1. Nick says:

    Thanks Bob. This vid stirred up mixed feelings for me. I grew up and worked around Walsall area but havent been back there for atleast ….maybe 15 years now. I wonder what kind of principles the ‘planning dept’ has when it comes to Walsall town and its architectural conformity..?
    The whole area is packed full of culture and historic buildings….right from the start of the vid up at the island by the church on the Lichfield road..with the the buildings (pub ?) on the opposite corner….and down and right through Walsall….fabulous old buildings standing like stalwarts in a bizzare and confused landscape otherwise…which is speckled with aluminium and glass super stores ect which have absolutely no place in the lanscape whatsoever. I think its a shame because with a little thought Walsall could (have been) be a smashing town if there was more consideration to the industrial history – canals ect… So in one way it was great to see thte place again, but I am also a little saddened by its architectural ‘development’ to put it mildly.

  2. Nick says:

    Have to just mention one particular building which is ‘special’ to me and very special architecturally, and that is H Taylors the old piano/organ shop in the centre (bridge?). I wonder wether that is still the same with all the statues and musical carvings in stone on the shop front…. I remember Mr Taylor (then jnr) well . After they closed he invited me into the very empty shop and GAVE ME absolutely LOADS of technical piano repair/restoring equipment ( I was a newly qualified piano technician/tuner at the time) worth hundreds of pounds. I still have and use all of that equipment to this day…and I m so very gratefull to him for that. He really helped me on my feet and into the trade. But i remember spendind so much time in the shop every week..trying out various organs and pianos…and generally passing time in there..

  3. stymaster says:

    @Bob: You had a fair turn of speed coming down towards the Arboretum lights, which reminded me of a schoofriend who got stopped by the coppers for doing 40-odd down there when we were around 16. Surprised to see you using the lovely ring road: I’d have though there were more pleasant (and quicker) options by bike?

    @Nick: Sadly, Walsall MBC seems to encourage, or at least not prevent ‘unexpected’ fires involving our nice old buildings, which is sad. You’ll be glad to know the Taylors shop, though no longer a music shop, still has it’s marvellous architectural details.

    • Hi guys.

      Stymaster beat me to it with a pic of Taylors. It’s fabulous.

      There are buildings currently under threat in Walsall right now I’m very concerned about – The BOAC building, Lime House, the former Jabez Cliff works, the Walkways centre. Walsall doesn’t look after it’s architectural heritage, and that’s a disgrace.

      It was maybe 25-30MPH down there, I wasn’t looking at the speed, but it helps to pace with the traffic so they don’t take advantage.

      Alternatives? Depending, I might do Borneo-Cecil Street, but it’s dooring hell, and turning right at Littleton can be an – um – adventure. Often get off onto the cut at Smiths Mill, but WMBC inexplicably blocked off the canal access on the Pleck side, so now have to go to Bridgman Street. The canal is grim on wet days, so I take the ring road. The other possibility is to hop on the cut at Goscote, but it’s long and muddy. Simple fact is, there’s no easy way to the Darlo side of town if you’re on a bike and want to get there before sundown.

      The new ring road is a disgrace and one of the most stilted, ineffective, pedestrian & cyclist-unfreindly schemes I’ve ever come across, bettering Birmingham for crap road design, and that really is saying something.

      It’s not too bad if you do it regularly, it’s just very slow, especially in the other direction. I cut 7 minutes of traffic light waiting time out of that video…

      All the best


  4. stymaster says:

    @Bob As I’m sure you know, the ring road and Arboretum junction isn’t good for drivers either: It has a confusing layout and poor signage and marking. I dread to think what someone unused the the town would think of it.

  5. Steve Hickman says:

    My dad was born in Littleton Street and I can just remember it when there were people living and working along there, an actual community. Then some one must have thought this would look good with in a retro 1950’s Soviet architectural style. I bet that commitee was a bundle of laughs. I know everything has to be sacrificed to the use of the motor car but is that the best they could have come up with.

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