Report on Meeting re Acocks Green Plans 6 August 09

August 7th, 2009

Those who watch Acocks Green on the net have probably been aware for some time that there was something going on, on 6 August 09. Indeed, a lot of Acocks Green’s activists, together with delegates from Solihull and others who are concerned with street layout in Birmingham spent most of the afternoon of the 6th August holed up in the Westley Hotel, in Acocks Green.

The event was centred not just on Acocks Green itself, but on the whole of the Warwick Road from Stratford Road to Solihull town centre.

Birmingham City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Centro and W.S. Atkins are jointly involved in a plan which aims to improve the Warwick Road. According to a report in The Birmingham Post there is there is currently 4 million on the table and another 19.7 million Red Route, Government funding, being bid for. The project leaders wish to stress that ‘The possible funding sources for works along the route will be identified as Stage One of the project progresses and the issuses that need to be addressed are identified.’

Various posters were displayed showing main issues. We reproduce the two which are centred on Acocks Green, here.

Poster 6 Aug 09 Exhibition on Acocks Green Plans - Warwick Road

Poster 6 Aug 09 Exhibition on Acocks Green Plans - Issues - Warwick Road

Note: to view poster most effectively, left click on poster until poster fills screen. Use arrows at bottom of screen to navigate around poster. Use green back arrow, top left of screen, to return to this website post, NOT red x button.

Poster 6 Aug 09 Exhibition on Warwick Road issues Acocks Green  Warwick Road, Olton side of Acocks Green

Poster 6 Aug 09 Exhibition on Acocks Green plans Issues - Warwick Road, Olton side of Acocks Green

Note: to view poster most effectively, left click on poster until poster fills screen. Use arrows at bottom of screen to navigate around poster. Use green back arrow, top left of screen, to return to this website post, NOT red x button.

(It was also emphasised to us that there are so many issues involving Acocks Green that not all of them could appear on the posters.)

The brief presentation outlined that there would be three stages in the (hoped for) implementation of this plan. The first stage is to find out what measures are needed to improve the Warwick Road. We were told that a ‘link and place’ approach would be used for this study. In our case the ‘link’ is the road – the Warwick Road. The ‘place’ is the place along the road – Acocks Green as far as we, who live here, are concerned. ‘Place’, we were told, was to be given a lot of consideration, as well as ‘link’. In the upshot Acocks Green delegates were allocated extra time to make their points about place and what is needed for our ‘place’ along the Warwick Road. This helped to emphasise that we are the most important whole ‘place’ along this route, and the place with the most ‘issues’ and concerns.

Topics listed to consider for the whole route, and to collect data and views on, included buses, rail, cycling, pedestrians, cars, urban environment, sound, noise, personal security, road safety, parking and loading.

Stage 2 will consider ‘development of measures including cost estimates and assessing the feasibility’

Stage 3 will involve the ‘implementation of mesarues developed as part of Stage 2 and monitoring them subsequently.’

Before the whole process of the stages has been fully completed there may be some small projects carried out quickly: ‘quick wins’ as and when money becomes available. There were questions about whether such ‘quick win’ work could remain coherent within the overall plan, if done in isolation. The presenters were keen to emphasise that anything they did would be planned to work with the ‘over-arching’ strategies, as these were developed.

After the presentation those attending were invited to comment on issues along the route – each section being looked at in turn. Participants generally stressed the need for more facilities and ease of movement for pedestrians and cyclists, whilst also taking into account issues like the needs of motorists to park, and the need for loading and unloading time and space for delivery vehicles.

In the extra time allowed for Acocks Green we emphasised that we were, generally, very pleased with the existing, Landscape Practice, plans already drawn for Acocks Green (See link on right.) It has now emerged that these draft plans were drawn up with a preliminary ‘Smart Route’ in mind. Features which we are particularly keen to keep from these plans, or to develop now, include:

– Single carriageway along the Warwick Road. Definitely no bus lanes to be added in Acocks Green!

– More trees

– More parking

– More planters

– Remove the ugly ‘go-faster’ effect danger railings

– Consider 20 m.p.h. speed limit.

The overall feeling was that, at present, things sound hopeful. However, we remain vigilant. Will we get all (or any) of this? Have our views really been taken seriously? Can the money be found? Watch this space.

There were public, ‘drop in’ events at Acocks Green, Sparkhill and Olton Libraries 12th and 19th September were these posters, and the others dealing with the other sections of the Warwick Road/A41 between Stratford Road and Solihull, were shown again.

You can let us know what you think in the usual way, by responding to this posting, using the box below.

You can also visit the Warwick Road website, set up by the project team at http://www.warwickroad.org.uk/ or click through here Note there is now a questionnaire on their site which invites you to give your views on the Warwick Road.

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