Acocks Green Focus Group Campaigns

March 11th, 2007

Campaign for the Regeneration of Acocks Green Centre

Following our highly successful “Shared Space” Workshop held on September 27 2006 we took part in a meeting with Birmingham City Council Regeneration Team for the East Birmingham area. The meeting was attended by Council planners and representatives from the Transportation Department as well as by representatives from a range of Acocks Green organisations. Everyone seems in broad agreement that, although Acocks Green centre has great potential as an urban village, it has suffered from lack of investment in recent years. For one thing, the village is not as accessible as it might be. This applies equally whether the people wanting to use it are pedestrians, car drivers or cyclists – see our street furniture pics for some ideas why! This, hopefully, is about to change. A redesign may be on the way. Another meeting of Council officials and residents’ organisations is about to take place on 20 March 2006.

New Shared Space Workshop

Watch this space for more details. A new Shared Space Workshop has been arranged for Monday 21st May, 7 – 9 pm at The Inn on the Green, next to The Green, Acocks Green. All welcome, but, in particular, those who live or work in Acocks Green, or whose work concerns Acocks Green.

An Earlier Campaign

At peak times and frequently throughout the day, a substantial queue of traffic builds on Dudley Park Road, waiting to join the out-of-city queue on the Warwick Road.

Traffic on the Warwick Road approaching the Acocks Green island frequently builds to a slow-moving queue reaching back to Broad Road/Flint Green Road.

Stationary traffic

The Focus Group has noted that:

1. The bus lanes on both roads restrict cars to a single lane.


Uncontrolled crossing

The action -Following much correspondence and an office meeting with Rachael Kingsley of Birmingham City Council Transportation Strategy, the Focus Group held a site meeting with BCC – present for BCC were Rachael, John Blakemore and Councillor Len Gregory, Cabinet Member for Transportation.

The result – so far…..

The BCC team had been considering changes to this area of Acocks Green. These issues will now be considered in the broader context of the discussions for regenerating the centre of Acocks Green scheduled to begin between Birmingham City Council and local residents’ organisations on 20 March 2007.

11 Responses to “Acocks Green Focus Group Campaigns”

  1. Edmund says:

    You know, this website, wonderful though it is, reminds me of something…

  2. A C Baker says:

    Lovely new ‘blog. How did the meeting go on 20 Mar 2007? I hope to be able to join you on Mon 21 May.

  3. Julia says:

    Hi A C Baker

    Glad you like the blog.

    The meeting on 20 March went very well. The Council are prepared to invest some money into carrying out a feasibility study into regenerating the centre of Acocks Green. They will look at our Shared Space style suggestion, amongst others.

    You are very welcome to join us on Monday 21 May when our speakers, leading Shared Space advocate Ben Hamilton-Baillie, Phil Jones (Traffic Consultant) and Will Thornton (for Birmingham Focus on Blindness) will be explaining how Shared Space works, and we will debate how it could work for Acocks Green.

    Best wishes

    Julia

  4. j barton says:

    since I moved to Oxford Road in 2006 there has been a great increase in through traffic using this road rather than wait in queues on Warwick Road. I see the bus lane is still in place causing single lane traffic 2 years after the meeting about this, so what (if anything) is being done about it?

  5. Julia says:

    Hi J Barton

    Fair question. I have made a new post on this topic.

  6. Adrian Martin says:

    It is taking far too long to get action. The City Council are just not interested. When there was the great Number 11 bus “Showcase”, nothing was done to resolve the traffic problems in Dudley Park Road and nothing has been done since. All we need are double yellow lines and enforcement of parking restrictions to free up public transport and, more importantly, stop emergency service vehicles being delayed en route to Heartlands Hospital! As for Shared Space, it needs wide pavements on both side of the road to work – that isn’t possible in Acocks Green unless we spend a lot of money and completely change the present layout and do away with wasted space outside Argos, Post Office, Lloyds Bank.

  7. Julia says:

    Hi Adrian

    I agree that things are not satisfactory as they are, and that we need action. The Focus Group have been saying that for years now. I think the action requires to be thought through very carefully though. I don’t agree that ALL that is needed is double yellows and enforcement of parking restrictions though – see Mick’s comments on your other posting about Oxford Road and the Bus Lanes for expansion on that.

    In regard to Shared Space – this is not really about pavements. This is a slight misreading of Shared Space – you might like to browse some of our street design links and Shared Space videos for more info on this. It is true that a proper redesign is going to cost money, and, yes, it would involve a complete reconsideration of the way that the space in the centre is used and not just in the lower half Wilkinson’s to Post Office area, but all the way up the Warwick Road as well. This is what we are asking for. However, Acocks Green has not really had any serious money spent on its centre since the nineteen-seventies. We have become a Cinderella suburb in many ways. Other areas of our general broad type and vintage, eg Erdington, Northfield and Kings Heath, have had, or are about to have, a lot of money spent on them. We find this very worrying, and we think we need to stop being so accepting.

  8. Nicola Toms says:

    what is the current situation regarding improving Acocks Green?

  9. Julia says:

    Hi Nicola

    Well, after a long lull, it finally looks as though things might be moving forward. Birmingham City Council Planning and Regeneration have engaged a designer for the centre of Acocks Green Plans have been viewed by a few and, we are promised, will be publicly available soon. Those who have viewed the plans think that they look good. Watch this space for more information, which we have been promised very soon.

  10. Nick says:

    Well over 2 years have passed by without any real progress. The priority of the councillors running this city is keeping themselves on the gravy train for as long as possible.

  11. Julia says:

    Hi Nick

    I agree that at times it has been very frustrating. We had a long lull when nothing was happening. Now it looks as though something is starting to happen. Yes, it is always possible that we may have another setback. Meantime, however, I think the job of people who care about Acocks Green, and I presume you do, is to keep on campaigning for those changes that we are told are in the pipeline. What we need is more people to help us campaign, to keep the plans in the public eye. Watch this space. The new plans for Acocks Green were displayed at a public ‘Acocks Green Village Partnership Meeting’ therefore it would seem that they are now in the public domain. They will be published here fairly shortly. (When the editors have time to be exact, because it is a bit time consuming and we are all just residents and volunteers.) We are also promised that the plans will be on public display in Acocks Green around September. We do not yet know where, but be sure that the venue will be advertised here.

    As to councillors, I think that the short answer, from our experience, is that there are councillors and councillors. Some Birmingham City councillors have been supportive and sympathetic about the long term needs of Acocks Green. Others have been less so. We find it is best to work with those councillors who we can work with, and who want to work with us, rather than to take an ‘they are all the same’ approach.

    Above all I think it is important to go on campaigning. Nothing much has happened in Acocks Green for over thirty years. (I know because I have lived here since 1974.) Now I think that door towards change is starting to slowly creak open. We need to join together and push, not sign and sit on our hands …

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