September 30th, 2016

Hopwood residents want action over traffic

Hopwood residents want action over traffic Hopwood residents want action over traffic
Updated: 2:01 pm, Aug 15, 2015

FURIOUS residents have hit out at the lack of action to control the speed and volume of traffic using the A441 between the M42 and Birmingham.

Hopwood villagers have said the road, which carries huge numbers of vehicles to and from the motorway, was not engineered for the growth in traffic and their pleas for help had fallen on deaf ears at Worcestershire County Council.

“There’s already been a number of minor accidents on the road and sooner or later there is going to be a serious one,” said Coun Andy Humphries, who is Alvechurch Parish Council’s chairman.

A roadside survey by the county council in February, this year, recorded more than 12,000 vehicles passing through the village in just 24 hours, with peaks of more than 3,500 vehicles between 6am and 9am and 3pm and 6pm.

In addition a speed check found vehicles averaging at 46.8mph when the speed limit through the village is 40mph.

“We have been pushing the county council to look seriously at this and to do a proper safety audit and publish it to both the parish council and the residents which they haven’t done,” said Coun Humphries.

He added: “The parish is calling for better and clearer road engineering, improvements to the footpath, provision for cyclists, a crossing or island to help pedestrians and a speed camera to slow traffic down.

“They have a speed camera at Coughton on the A435 and it does exactly what it’s meant to do – act as a deterrent.”

Coun Humphries said the parish council had raised the issue with Bromsgrove MP and Business Secretary Sajid Javid and he had arranged to visit the site, in the near future.

However June Griffiths, county councillor for the area, said the authority had already done everything the parish council had asked for regarding traffic management and they were working to solve a legal loophole over the use of speed cameras on the road.

“Everything they have asked for has been done and I’m sorry about the delay over speed enforcement but it’s not the fault of the county or the police and it’s certainly not my fault,” Coun Griffiths said.

She added a central refuge would put pedestrians in the middle of the road and at greater risk and a recent survey had found a demand for such a crossing was low.

A Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Safer Roads Partnership spokeswoman said: “We are committed to supporting communities through our community concern enforcement programme.

“As stated, we are very supportive of the concerns raised by Alvechurch Parish Council and we are due to start enforcing on the A441 with one of our mobile enforcement units as soon as we can.”