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Monday August 20 2018

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In Full . . .

THE VILLAGE VIEW

Posted on July 30 2018 at 1:00:18

The extended closure of a village road has highlighted once again the problem of the “rat run” from Redditch through much of this area into south Birmingham and the growing Longbridge development.

It was clearly a major inconvenience to many Alvechurch residents to find Swan Street closed for weeks on end as the leaking Victorian gas main was investigated.

Even those villagers who lived amid the drilling and digging found that frustration at having their passage either north or south blocked wasn’t totally compensated for by the joy of life in a quiet cul-de-sac for part of the summer.

What the closure did show, however, was that non-village traffic could quite easily use the bypass, rather than shaving off a few minutes by tearing through our villages.

Bittell Road, through Barnt Green, and Barnt Green Road, through Cofton Hackett, were noticeably quieter as motorists who were forced to use the bypass around Alvechurch then decided, upon reaching Hopwood, that they might as well carry on up the hill and then work their way down to Longbridge that way.

This was what was envisaged when the Longbridge area Action Plan was approved in 2009, with its proposal for “highway improvements at . . . the A441 between the M42 and Longbridge Lane, including traffic management in Hopwood”.

None of that has, of course, ever happened and the volume of traffic grows and continues to break speed limits through the settlement.

While we hope Alvechurch Parish Council and the district councillor for the area continue to apply pressure on the highways authorities for the promises to the people of Hopwood to be kept, this shouldn’t stop Alvechurch villagers continuing to push for traffic calming measures through their village.

Local people won’t mind being slowed a little if it means motorists bombing through without a care are pushed on to the bypass built just for them.

The measures in Barnt Green’s high street work very well in keeping out unwanted traffic and it is time a successful scheme was introduced in Alvechurch. Mind you, digging has just begun in Barnt Green to investigate the water pipes . . . it could be Hewell Road that is closed next!


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