This one is urgent – my apologies to Area Manager Laura Terry, who asked me to post this a couple of hours ago and I’ve been indisposed elsewhere – anyway, onwards…
This is for residents mainly of Clayhanger and the Watermead Estate in Brownhills who have been suffering ongoing antisocial behaviour from unauthorised encampments and other such issues in the truncated stub of Northfields Way in Clayhanger.
This unused, dead-end stretch of road that was originally to be continued to Brownhills is unlikely to be developed anytime soon, and following complaints caused by repeated gatherings of cars, youths and traveller encampments, a consultation has been ongoing with residents as to the stopping up of the road to prevent vehicular access.
Despite some rash and rather foolish statements made by aspiring politicians, process has to be followed and a full consultation is being undertaken outside the political system to ensure a solution is found that takes into account as wide a range of public opinion as is possible.
To this end, the following proposal was released today by Laura Terry, the Loacal Area Partnership Manager for the area – there will be copies of the letter posted to affected residents, the material has been published on social media and Laura has sent it to myself and top Clanger blog Madwblog, who was quicker of the mark than me with an excellent post.
Please feel free to comment here if you like, but constructive comments are better directed at those concerned with the project: Laura dot Terry at Walsall dot gov dot uk
Dear Brownhills Bob,
Following the community consultation regarding the issues in Northfields Way I attach above for your reference the next release of information to the community.
These letters will be distributed to all properties within the estate accessed via Northfields Way, in the first instance. We are able to share this freely electronically to communicate as far and wide as possible.
I will be posting to the ‘Clayhanger has a Community Centre’ Facebook Page today, with the afore mentioned letter drop tomorrow.
The letter indicates that the formal posting of the TRO is likely to commence on 15 April, so we aren’t too far away from the statutory process, which has to run for three weeks minimum.
I hope that you are able to share this with your community.
Brownhills, Pelsall, Rushall Shelfield Area Partnership
Here’s the Resident’s Letter from the Area Partnership. I”ve pasted the text so it’s at hand; you can read the letter in it’s original format here (PDF).
Dear Local Resident
During late February/March the Council has been gathering residents’ comments and views on the proposal to redesign the junction of Northfields Way and Allerdale Road in order to restrict vehicular access and help mitigate concerns raised about anti social behaviour.
These comments have been collated and considered and the purpose of this letter is to inform you of what has been said in general and what the Council subsequently proposes to do.
First we would like to thank all those who have contributed to the discussion. It is very clear that people living close to this area feel very strongly that something should be done. During the exercise over A 100 people provided their views with the vast majority in support of closing the section of Northfields Way after Allerdale Road. Some people were fully in support of the scheme as proposed and asked that it be progressed as quickly as possible. There was however a number of people who suggested alternative barriers such as tree planters or lockable barriers, on the basis that the concrete ones would be unsightly.
There were suggestions of completely removing the section of road and creating a further landscaped green space. Suggestions on further traffic calming and parking restrictions in the area were also made. There were comments made that this junction is slippery in icy conditions and concern that the concrete barriers appeared too close to the junction itself.
Given these comments and the strength of support it is now proposed to formally consult on the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which would provide the legal powers to prevent vehicular access. The first stage of this process is to advertise the TRO inviting comments within a three week period. Any objections to the proposal have to be formally considered before the TRO can be finalised.
If this is supported the Council would then arrange for the works to be carried out. It is acknowledged that concrete barriers of this nature aren’t pretty however they do provide an effective deterrent to unwanted vehicles. Lockable barriers are often forced open and can become a safety concern when left to swing across the carriageway.
Councils across the country are facing very challenging financial times. We have to be realistic about what can be delivered and the proposal is to use the concrete barriers. It will however be possible to move them further away and provide red and white water filled barriers in front of them. This will soften their appearance and cushion any impact should a vehicle lose control.
There are no proposals to extend the scheme any further than the junction discussed so this letter will not answer queries about the wider area. We will however be reviewing the need for any additional parking restrictions and or traffic calming measures in accordance with our existing policies and procedures.
There was a request for grit bins or resurfacing to provide “anti-slip” surfaces. Again the scheme does not include any new surfacing but will include relining of the junction. The Council cannot grit every road in the borough and it is expected that where roads are not treated drivers will adapt their driving behaviour to the conditions of the road. There is a policy relating to our winter maintenance activities and the provision of grit bins. This can be found here. The area would not qualify for the provision of a grit bin.
There was a request for a waste bin. It is suspected that some of the behaviour generating litter will be moderated by the proposals. If however there appears to be a need if the scheme is progressed then one can be provided in the area near to the new barriers.
The formal consultation on the TRO will be advertised in local press and there will be notices displayed on the street near the junction. This is anticipated to commence on 15 April.
I hope you find this information useful.
Head of Planning, Transport and Engineering Economy and Environment