It must be election time

A news story drifted into my feed in the last couple of days, which was also flagged up to me by top local history bloke Clive Roberts and the young David Evans: it seems that Brownhills High Street may well be in receipt of £125,000 of safety improvements, including hump crossings and high-grip surfaces.

This good news was reported in the Wednesday 15th April 2015 edition of the Express & Star, and whilst I’m totally supportive of anything that improves local road safety – particularly in light of recent events – I can’t help but question the timing of this announcement. It’s somewhat opaque as to where the original PR came from, and what status this proposal actually has. It’s clearly unfunded, this seems like a wish-list to me.

Buried near the foot of the piece are proposed safety upgrades to the New Ring Road at Littleton Street – surely that can’t be an acknowledgement that the design of our ’21st Century Road’ is flawed and utterly piss-poor, can it?

The local and national elections take place on May 7th, 2015.

Anyway, hark yonder. Hear that? That’s the deafening, overbearing silence over Ravens Court, the Tory/UKIP great success… remember, Tick tock, people. Tick tock.

Untitled 9

From the Express & Star, Wednesday 15th April 2015.Please click image to visit the story on the paper’s website.

£125k of road safety improvements under consideration for Brownhills High Street

PUBLISHED: April 15, 2015 2:59 pm

£125k of road safety improvements under consideration for Brownhills High Street
More than £125,000 of safety improvements could be carried out along Brownhills High Street, under new plans.

A 20mph zone, table top junctions, new markings and high friction surfacing are being considered by Walsall Council.

An 84-year-old died after being hit by a lorry while buying Christmas and birthday cards on the High Street last December and in the three years from October 2011-14, there were seven accidents on the road.

Brownhills councillor Barbara Cassidy said she would welcome action to improve safety.

She said: “I have been concerned about safety in the High Street for as long as I can remember. It is quite a narrow road and is main route. Anything to improve safety I would welcome.”

Grandfather Peter Pelari suffered serious injuries when he was hit by the lorry in Brownhills High Street, near the junction with Church Road, on December 19 last year, an inquest heard.

The 84-year-old, who lived in Barncroft, Chasetown, was airlifted to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after the accident at around 11.30am.

The former mobile crane driver suffered multiple fractures and died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The majority of witnesses also said the driver was not at fault and the inquest was told a police investigation found there was no evidence to bring the driver to court.

Black Country coroner Zafar Siddique concluded that Mr Pelari died as a result of a road traffic accident.

Proposals for the new road improvements – which the council is still needs to secure funding for – come as some other main routes in Walsall are being lined up for more than £800,000 of improvements following a series of accidents.

The main ring road, Broadway, Sutton Road and the town centre are among those being looked at for safety measures.

Junction improvements, better crossings and road markings are being considered by council highways chiefs subject to securing funding and firm designs being drawn up.

Pedestrian facilities and junction improvements are being looked at on the ring road along the Littleton Street stretch as part of a £270,000 scheme. Highways chiefs are also putting together proposals for 20mph zones in the town centre and upgrading pedestrian links under a £396,000 scheme.

The council is also considering warning signs and new pedestrian refuge at Broadway West, near West Bromwich Street and crossing build outs on Sutton Road under designs worth more than £150,000.

This entry was posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Express & Star, Interesting photos, Local media, News, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Walsall community, Walsall Wood stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It must be election time

  1. peter says:

    Agree that improvements do have to be made along the High Street, as Barbara says she’s been concerned about safety along the High Street as long as she can remember. Well why hasn’t anything been done before if she’s so concerned?
    I really hope this is a genuine thought process to try and makes thing safer, a genuine attempt to try and do something, but I do find the words and phrases like Consideration, Could be, being considered, welcome action, proposal, still needs to secure funding etc etc in the Press Release especially only a few days before a general election a little cynical.
    As a Community we have had to experience a very sad and distressing incident recently, the Express and Star seem to have wrapped this incident up with a press release from, I assume, the Council, lets hope our prospective councillors and Politicians don’t do the same.

    All the best……..


    • The release didn’t come from the council – they’re in purdah. Note my observation about the origins being ‘opaque’.
      Suspect this may have been dredging by the E&S, or political in origin.
      To be fair, no councillor has control over road safety, it’s an officer led decision. You can see current priorities here:
      I think it’s been fairly widely acknowledged that the recent tragedies were not road-engineering related in the most part.

      Personally, I’d question the installation of humped crossings in Brownhills on what is a very heavily used trunk route – those wagons rumbling over them iat night would keep the whole town awake.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.