New bus lane enforcement cameras in Birmingham

Motorists driving in bus lanes on the Lichfield Road, Tyburn Road and Pershore Road after Monday 4 September 2017 will run an increased risk of a fine. That’s the date when new bus lane enforcement cameras go live.

Anybody caught driving in those bus lanes during September will receive a warning letter. If they are caught after 2 October 2017, they will receive a £60 fixed penalty notice.

Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said, ‘This isn’t about trying to catch people out. I want everyone to know exactly where these cameras are so that they keep out of the bus lanes, rather than having to pay a fine.’

Flytipper jailed

Jail sentences have been handed down to two men found guilty of flytipping in Kings Heath and other areas across Birmingham. The two operated as A and B Removals. They claimed that it was a registered waste company and that all the material they collected was recycled. In reality, waste that couldn’t be sold was flytipped.

The case was brought by the Waste Enforcement Unit at Birmingham City Council. One of the two men was jailed for 30 months and banned from driving for 51 months. The other was given a 10-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work and also handed a rehabilitation order.

The full story can be read here .

When hiring contractors to remove waste or bulky items, residents are responsible for making sure that they are using a Registered Waste Carrier.

If residents hire a contractor who subsequently flytips the material, the resident could be prosecuted.

It is no longer a defence to say the resident did not know the company wasn’t licensed. So residents must check to make sure the business they’re using is properly registered.

You check whether a business is registered here.

Alternatively you can call the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506

If you see flytipped material, you can report it here   or you can send an email to http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Public space protection order (PSPO) consultation opens

There has been a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in place for Kings Heath High Street and Moseley for several months. The original news item about the consultation prior to the introduction of the PSPO can be seen here.  Birmingham City Council is looking to extend this PSPO.

The original Order expires on 25 September 2017. The draft of the revised Order can be read in full here.

The text explains that the purpose is to restrict activities ‘that have had or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’. The Locality is defined as Kings Heath High Street. The activities being targeted include:

  • Anti-social behaviour caused by groups of people or individuals in public spaces;
  • Verbal abuse;
  • Threats of or use of violence;
  • Unlicensed drinking;
  • Obstructing Pathways;
  • Begging;
  • Possession of goods, items or materials used for unauthorised graffiti;

If you want to make a comment as part of the consultation process, you can find details here. 

 

Residents take action on School Road traffic chaos

There has been a long history of traffic problems on School Road, mainly caused by inconsiderate, often dangerous, drivers. It now looks as if some relief may be on the way for local residents.

In November 2016, local people set up a Facebook page to begin gathering evidence to present to Birmingham City Council (BCC). The aim was to get action to protect local residents, particularly pedestrians.

The area of greatest concern is the stretch from the roundabout near Kings Heath Primary School down School Road itself. There are frequent reports of cars mounting the pavement to pass other cars, even forcing pedestrians to get out of the way. In some cases, residents report that drivers ignore the presence of small children, so keen are they to get past as fast as they can.

Comments on the group’s Facebook page detailed incidents in which

  • a car mounted the pavement close to a mother and child walking home from school
  • another child was almost hit by a car on the pavement
  • a four-year-old on a scooter was within a metre of a car that had mounted the pavement
  • a woman was walking her child home and was abused by a driver because she objected to him driving his car at her and her child
  • a woman pushing a baby buggy on the footpath found three cars trying to get past her on the same footpath.

With the support of Councillor Claire Spencer and Councillor Lisa Trickett, the group has been putting pressure on BCC to find a long-term solution to the problems. In January 2017, residents were told that BCC was going to undertake a formal traffic survey on School Road. In addition, money had been set aside to try to come up with a solution to the problems. This was followed in March 2017 with news that a budget of up to £40,000 had been allocated.

Now a set of proposals is being put out for consultation. They will be sent to residents of School Road while anybody else who wishes to comment will be able to do so. It is understood that, at present, the proposal is to make School Road one-way from the roundabout near Kings Heath Primary School to Blenheim Road.

Councillor Spencer will be in the area of School Road on Sunday 25 June 2017 gathering information.

The School Road Traffic Issues Facebook page can be found here

Birmingham air quality survey

Birmingham City Council (BCC) wants to know whether air quality is important to you. In order to find out what residents think, BCC have launched an online survey:

https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/birmingham-air-quality/

The survey is already open but will close on 3 April 2017.

The questionnaire is reasonably short – it should take less than 10 minutes to complete but it’s important that as many residents as possible complete it.

Changes ahead for Kings Heath and Moseley schools?

Seven local schools that are currently operated by Birmingham City Council (BCC) are considering forming a multi-academy trust. The schools in the group are:

  • Kings Heath Primary School
  • Park Hill Primary School
  • Wheelers Lane Primary School
  • Kings Heath Boys School
  • Queensbridge School
  • Swanshurst School
  • Wheelers Lane Technical College

All are reported as being rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Love Brum Schools is an action group that is opposed to the plans. The group is not affiliated with any political party, nor to the Kings Heath Residents’ Forum but education is an extremely important subject for many residents. For that reason, the Residents’ Forum is publicising the group to make residents aware of the plans. The group’s website is lovebrumschools.com. Their site includes a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section that deals with many of the central issues.

This is clearly, and understandably, a very emotive subject and residents will undoubtedly want to know more about the pros and cons. Searching the web with a search term such as ‘academy schools pros and cons’ will produce a list of websites. Two that seem to provide relevant information are published by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) (pdf, 412kb) and specialist education publisher MA Education Ltd.