The following is a letter sent to the Birmingham Mail by RW Meese which he has asked to share with us here – leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

opinionhaving heard all the complaints about northfield,i thought i would see what the problem was,and i have to say that they are all justified.

all the paving is loose and sticking up a trip hazzard (council be ware) as i was walking down the street various slabs being repaired or replaced,

then there is the issue of traffic flow on the high street ,cars double parked and certain shops putting barricades out to stop you parking because they are having a delivery,postal workers taking the spaces up when collecting/sorting there delivery rounds clearly staying over the stated time,

also you have the motorists nightmare of the double traffic light junction at great stone road junction and the sainsburys junction no thought as gone in to this at all, the yellow boxes on the road are a joke nobody adheres to them (needs proper policing),right turns need to be blocked off or they should of spent the money on an
island a big one ,

then there is the problem with the buses coming along 3/4 at a time tailin back in to the junction and in to the yellow box

i ask the question why do bus stops have to be so close to the corners or junctions.

and lastly the bypass itself i always thought that the purpose was to get the traffic flowing from piont a to piont b yet on this little stretch of bypass we have 5 sets of traffic lights .

so as a tax payer my money as not been spent well.


Do you agree or disagree with these points? Leave your comments below!


  1. first of all its diffikult to reed wen theres no punktooashone and sekondly i like northfield and hadnt notissed all thees problems my teecher alwayz sed you cant understand langwag if there aint no capital lettas or fool stopz.

    • My God, it’s no wonder younger people are having trouble finding employment. This person needs to go back to school and read a few more books.

  2. I have to say I agree with the comments. The state of the pavements on the High Street is awful as well as the parking issues faced.
    The relief road as with the Selly Oak one has proved to be a waste of money and poorly thought out. Neither of them provide a clear flow of traffic and at rush hour the traffic is horrendous due to the amount of junctions. The traffic flowing up from Bell Lane heading into Northfield causes issues for traffic on the relief road from Selly Oak.
    Both relief roads should be reviewed and any improvements made ASAP!

  3. All good points well made. As a driver, it seems that the yellow grid at the Sainsburys junction gets snarled up because the traffic lights are completely out of synch, letting southbound traffic pull off only to get stuck at a red light by Great Stone Road. Just as bad are the lights at Bell Lane: Bristol Road traffic gets a green light before the traffic coming up Bell Lane has stopped. Just a pile up waiting to happen.

  4. Sorry M. if my comment upset you, but it really is easier to read language when people use punctuation marks and it makes decipering someone’s meaning much more difficult when they don’t bother to use capital letters and full stops in particular.
    Further I quite like Northfield. It has a few problems and serious poverty is one of them, but I have lot of affection for the little town. I dont drive so those issues listed would not affect me. I like to walk.
    Sorry again you felt offended, but I still think the same way and reserve the right to say so.

  5. I agree with the comments about the traffic lights.

    I wouldn’t say the yellow box junction needs policing as the problem is with there being too many traffics lights one after each other and when the first lot change to green, you drive away and then whilst you are in the yellow box junction you are then caught by the next set of traffic lights turning red, you are then stuck behind cars who are also in the yellow box junction and so on at the next set of lights. So if you don’t move forward when lights change green, you will be stuck behind that white line at the red light til the evening.

    They need to be in sync, you should not be caught by the 2nd set of lights less than 50 metres away from the first, because some idiot hasn’t set the sequence to allow free flowing of traffic.

    If people don’t start moving forward as soon as the 1st set of lights go green, you get accused of blocking the traffic anyway and then the people behind would suffer road rage.

    I do try and avoid that area as it does make for unpleasant and angry driving, but that means I end up using the side roads.

    The problem we have in Birmingham as there are many poorly planned road layouts and traffic light systems.

  6. One issue I would like to raise is the Crossroads by the Grosvenor/Northfield Shopping -which is pretty lethal. Many pedestrians become so impatient with the long wait to get across Church Road that they take their lives in their hands and race across before the little green man has chance to announce himself. This means surprise traffic coming round corner from Bristol Road runs them over.

  7. Yes, the Crossroads by the Grosvenor is a nightmare, for both drivers and pedestrians.

    I do drive carefully when turning right / left off the Bristol Road knowing people could be crossing.

    I do however beat the green man myself as a pedestrian, simply because of how long it takes for the green man to appear and how little time you have to cross before you have the red man again for ages. However I do check for turning traffic first, but many don’t.

  8. I have seen many a near miss there. Of course when the lights do change, if you want to get across to Macdonalds (if?!), you have walk pretty rapidly diagonally to avoid getting flattened by released traffic!

    • you have just pulled me up over my grammer ,my letter was’nt about my grammer but a point i wanted to get over to other residents of northfield,but talking about grammer check your reply above it says, ‘you have walk’ talk about the teapot calling the kettle black…

      • I have to say I agree with Benice. We each spend at least 10 years in schools learning how to write -so there is no excuse for not knowing how to punctuate.

  9. How about, you can turn left if there’s nothing coming? And you can maybe synchronise the stupid pedestrian lights with the main lights why on earth the ones from black horse to pet shop stop you when turning right from frankley beeches rd I will never know. Hope the punctuation is ok, I went to masshouse school :)

  10. Totally agree with Mr Meese concerning the box junction outside the Black horse, traffic from Great Stone will not give way and just sit in the box, as for the unloading on the high street, B&N are the villains, not content with a loading bay in Rochester red they feel they have to block the high street up.

  11. @dip1brickie,

    Firstly, the loading bay is far too small on Rochester Road. If you think you can park a HGV up in there without it hanging over Rochester Road then feel free and I’ll give you a gold medal.

    Deliveries never block the high street up and are done during non peak hours (e.g. After 6.30pm). After all it is a loading bay! What is more annoying is people who think they can park there and then go off shopping, or maybe pop into taks for a fish and chips. Unfortunately exiting the vehicle and then coming back 20 minutes later with a burger and chips isn’t what a loading bay is for.

    I could understand if the HGV was unloading during peak hours but not after 6.30pm in a space that is designated for just such activity.

    • i would ask the question what right do shops have to block off parking bays with baskets and cones etc ,doesnt matter what time of day it is..and yes there is a loading bay down rochester road ,so maybe the answer is smaller lorries..

      • R.w, the company does not use baskets to block off the loading bay. Only road cones are ever used. If you ever witness this then please report this to the store.

        We have already catered for our neighbours by not using the lifts after 9pm due to the noise they make and the fact that they are situated right next to a row of terraced houses. To have 7.5 tonne trucks unloading in the loading bay (which the company do not operate anyway) would cause even further annoyance to our neighbours as it would be unfeasible to do during the day (not to mention people who park in front of the car park entrance on the double yellows during day times).

        I think time of day is relevant and especially after 6.30pm when there isn’t much traffic on the high street.

        The main reason we use cones is to allow the HGV to park up straight away and to get the delivery off the lorry ASAP. This means staff can fill the shelves quicker and make Northfield customers happy! It has happened to me before where I’ve been on shift since 7am in the morning and what should have been an 8pm finish turned into a 11.30pm finish because someone had parked in the loading bay and sent all evening in funspot across the road.

        If this is causing significant nuisance to yourself or any other user (placing of cones etc), then please feel free to write to the store and I or one of the other duty managers will liaise with the transport planner at head office to see what can be done.

        Kind Regards

  12. Its all very well us all agreeing and grumbling at the poor design of the releif road etc…but will anyone from the council read this and respond???Or even better do something!!
    I agree with RW. well put. I would add that thanks to this poor design many of us now live on rat runs as drivers seek to avoid all the traffic lights.
    When i moved to northfield 20yrs ago there was one set of lights between lydiarte ash and selly oak now there are 8+!!
    Very poor design and worse implementation.

  13. Much more priority needs to given to consideration of pedestrians in Northfield and far less to the monsters we call ‘traffic’.
    That crossroads is very dangerous.
    Write to your MP if you want to be taken seriously Martin.
    Using punctuation marks too, of course.

  14. Just a note – be nice, people! :)

    Surely, the most important thing to discuss is the points that Mr Meese has made, not how he has made them?

    If someone does not have the same level of writing skill as you do, does that mean they are less entitled to express their views?

    I hope that comments about literacy have not deterred others from having their say on this post!

    • privilegde… i wrote to the council engineers at the design stage of the relief road and pointed out what i thougfht were many desgin flaws.They were all ignored in that i wasnt in line with their guidelines. Also if you have a look at the orignal drawings of the high street it is quite different to what we have now. Also note i thinkwe all thought we were getting a by pass yet they call it a relief road..Council speak for cocking it up??
      Since inplementation even more flaws have come to the fore.
      I would add to your comments re ” Using punctuation marks too, of course.”.. i thought this was a website not an O level english course.”Also to quote yourself That crossroads is very dangerous….tut tut !! The crossroads are very et tu brute.
      SAS quite agree!
      pps if you are expecting things to get better when longbridge is finished..have a look at the plans and yet more traffic lights are going in!!

  15. Have to say if you look at the City as a whole, its becoming one big work site. You what buildings/roadworks etc going on all over the city.

    It seems general work on pathing and side roads are at the end of there list and they really only do whats necessary.

    As for the lights in Northfield as a drive I actual see the use in all of them, they are not put there to inconvience the driver they put there to make traffic “kind” of flow easier.

    As some-one has mentioned the Bristol Road down to LongBridge island is going to get worse, with upcoming building works going on..

    Council need to watch they don’t let repairs go under the carpet where path’s and side road’s are concerned, this will led to additional claims made not just the public but workers also.

  16. Some good points in original post.
    Traffic flows around the ‘relief road’ are dreadful. I use it every day at varying times and it has to be said the timings don’t work to speed journey times. I may be wrong but I don’t think they’re actually meant to as if the full potential was freed up there would be gridlock further along the route? What is a joke is the Sainburys car park rat run lights having any priority at all during rush hours if ever. Too many lights. Box junction ignored (for those who ever knew how they work in the first place). General lack of law abiding or courteous driving, in part at least caused by frustration I’m sure. If the council had wanted them to the relief road/ bypasses for Northfield and Selly Oak could have halved journey times from town all the way to J4 M5. They didn’t.

  17. I have been travelling on the bus through Northfield to work each day for around 10yrs now and since the ‘relief road’ has opened the traffic volume through the centre of Northfield has increased to ridiculous levels, particularly around the time of the evening rush-hour. I often find myself sitting on a bus in static traffic for a very long time and I am even considering leaving my job because the commute is becoming a lot more stressful and eating into my evening. The new road clearly hasn’t resolved any issues with traffic flow, in fact it has noticeably aggravated the problem!


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