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CURB SPEEDS: Speed fears on Castle Bromwich road

CURB SPEEDS: Speed fears on Castle Bromwich road

Image: LDRS

Fears that will someone will be killed on a Castle Bromwich road have prompted fresh pleas for a scheme to curb speeds.

Residents are desperate to see something done on Water Orton Road, following a string of collisions and narrow escapes on the long, straight route through the suburb.

An appeal for speed cameras was made early last year and now there are suggestions the stretch could stake a claim to a share of HS2’s road safety fund.

Speed bumps, a mini roundabout near The Farthings pub or mobile speed traps are some of the traffic-calming measure suggested by residents.

Iain Wallace, who has lived on the road for four years, said there was real concern about vehicles “charging” down the road and close calls were a daily occurrence.

“People are pulling out and they see a car coming straight at them in the wrong direction,” said the 46-year-old. “We have so many near misses.

“If you have someone coming down at 30, 40, 50 miles an hour even if you are in a car that’s going to be some life-changing injuries.

“If they do that speed and clip a pedestrian the stats will tell you what the chances of survival are.

“And the problem is big enough now, it needs to change before we see that.”

Mr Wallace said there had recently been encouraging noises but believed this was because of the increasingly clamour from locals.

“There has been pressure from the community to see some action and the authority has been listening, but it’s taken a very long time.”

Fellow resident Helen Rogers feared the road was being “used more and more as a race track”.

She said that many motorists seemed “oblivious” to crossings and was also concerned by a growing number of off-road bikes doing wheelies or cutting along the grass verge in the area.

Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, was worried that there had been three collisions at the same spot in the space of two years, with two cars involved in the latest smash on July 8.

“My fear is that the next time there is a collision, and there will be, is that someone will be seriously injured if not killed,” she said.

“Myself and others living in this area know not to walk on the right-hand side of the road, walking towards Park Hall, due to the recklessness of some drivers and fully aware that if a driver lost control, there is nowhere for you to escape.”

West Midlands Police have been contacted for an update on last month’s incident.

Castle Bromwich ward councillor Steve Caudwell (Green) said there were frustration that the issue had been raised before the pandemic but a solution was yet to have been signed-off.

“Someone said [the council] won’t do anything on this road until someone gets killed.

“Whether that’s right or wrong is not the point, if that’s the perception people have we have got a problem.

“Everyone knows that road is a serious accident waiting to happen.”

The previous appeal for an average speed camera had widespread support, with more than 100 people signing a petition.

The clamour is largely due to the success of a similar device installed at another blackspot on nearby Bradford Road.

Although Cllr Caudwell believes that local people would be open to other options which could make a difference and last month suggested the location would be a strong contender to claim a share of the HS2 funding.

Last month the council opened a consultation on possible uses for the £2.43 million pot, which is intended to fund permanent measures in areas affected by the rail line.

Cllr Ken Hawkins, cabinet member for environment and infrastructure, said the local authority would be willing to offer advice on staking a claim.

“We can certainly help local groups and parish councils with their bids,” he said.

On speed cameras he confirmed that a report on the next phase of the programme would be discussed at a decision session in the autumn.

Three devices were installed in Solihull five years ago this month and highways officers are now due to set out if and how the scheme could be expanded to other troublesome spots.

Cllr Hawkins said: “Water Orton Road is one of those sites which could benefit from that … there are a lot of similar sites in Solihull where there will be demand for these.”


Words: David Irwin, Local Democracy Reporter

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