Proposed changes to local bus routes

National Express West Midlands, which operates local buses, has started a consultation on possible changes to bus routes in south Birmingham. This could affect routes used by Kings Heath residents.

The rationale for the change is that journey times into the city by bus have increased dramatically over the past ten years. National Express argues that this has resulted in 4 per cent fewer passengers over the past three years.

More people opting to travel by car instead of by bus obviously adds to problems of air pollution.

In order to address these issues, National Express is considering a number of options including abolishing route 27 and arranging for it to be replaced by changes to other routes.

The proposals are outlined here. There is a link on that page to a survey relating to the proposals.

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

Green Travel Plan for Kings Heath – what does it mean?

Kings Heath High Street has been designated a Green Travel District. This means that the area is part of plans by Birmingham City Council (BCC) to reduce congestion and pollution caused by high volumes of traffic. Councillor Claire Spencer will explain what this is likely to mean for Kings Heath at the Forum’s Annual General Meeting.

Residents will have the chance to ask questions about the plan.

The meeting will also hear about feedback received from visitors to the KHRF consultation stall at the Farmers’ Market on 4 March.

The meeting will begin with the Annual General Meeting of the KHRF. Committee members will report on the group’s activities during the year. These include working with BCC on the Council’s strategy for road safety in Kings Heath, helping residents to get dumped rubbish removed and working with local councillors and council officers to improve the cleanliness of the High Street.

The meeting is open to all residents of Kings Heath.

Date: Wednesday 15 March 2017

Time: 7 pm to 9 pm

Location: Kings Heath Community Centre, Heathfield Road, Kings Heath B14 7DB