New way to gather evidence of anti-social activities in Kings Heath

A new public shared drive on Google Drive has been started to enable local people to gather evidence of anti-social activities. It covers all areas of Kings Heath. The shared drive “is a way for the people of Kings Heath to collectively gather evidence for change, particularly relating to bad driving and parking, but also on fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour, and other issues.”  No doubt other issues could include anything to do with street design, pavements etc

Residents are invited to take a photograph, if possible, and to add it and other information to the relevant street’s folder in the shared drive. If you haven’t used this before please don’t be put off it is very easy to post  pictures and comments.

Given the volume of recent comments about inconsiderate parking and reckless moped drivers, it seems likely that the site will become very busy very quickly.

To access the shared drive please visit:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwBQKk7uJaXQcEQ3NXJqRk4wdlE

There are also notes on etiquette when using the shared drive.

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.’

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

Spaghetti Junction – summer closures

Residents heading for the M6, Erdington or Castle Bromwich along the A38(M) Aston Expressway are likely to hit trouble after 7 July 2017.

The biggest problem is likely to be caused by the closure at weekends of the A38(M) Aston Expressway.

The road will be COMPLETELY CLOSED from 8pm on Fridays to 6 am on Mondays for 7 consecutive weekends.

This means that it won’t be possible to use the A38(M) Aston Expressway to get to the M6 on Friday evenings, Saturdays or Sundays. The weekend closures will start on Friday 14 July and apply on every weekend until Monday 28 August. During those weekends, drivers won’t be able to leave the M6 at Junction 6.

In addition, major roadworks on the A38(M) Aston Expressway will cause restrictions and road closures for several weeks. The closures will start on 7 July and will include:

  • Closure of the tidal-flow lane on the A38(M) Aston Expressway.
  • 30mph speed limit on the A38(M) Aston Expressway.
  • Complete CLOSURE of the approaches from Gravelly Hill and the Tyburn Road to the A38(M) Aston Expressway.

Full details can be found here

New transport proposals

A new Draft 2026 Delivery Plan for Transport across the west midlands has been put out for consultation. The plan has been prepared by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and is described as setting out ‘the schemes which will deliver a large amount of the Combined Authority’s long term transport strategy Movement for Growth’.

From Kings Heath residents’ point of view, one of the surprising aspects of the report is that Kings Heath is mentioned very few times. The proposed new railway station at Kings Heath is included (page 6) while the number 50 bus route is identified as a corridor which should be studied to ‘identify potential improvements’ (page 13).

However, the fact that Kings Heath is rarely mentioned in the document offers a possible benefit. One of the key factors appears to be that a number of transport ‘corridors’ are being proposed, none of which include the A435 (Alcester Road South and High Street, Kings Heath).

The Kings Heath Residents’ Forum (KHRF) has seized on this as evidence that the A435 should be downgraded and categorised as unsuitable for heavy through traffic. This would provide an opportunity to ban HGVs from Kings Heath unless they are making deliveries. Among the benefits of such a policy would be an improvement in traffic safety and a reduction in air pollution.

The KHRF will monitor the response of TfWM to submissions and, if necessary, make further representations.

For more information:

Main Transport for West Midlands website

Consultation draft document

Proposed transport corridors

Additional information