Around 50 residents turned up to meet with officials about traffic issues and the ongoing development of Longbridge Lane at a public meeting last night.
The meeting was held at Greenlands Social Club and was attended by officers from Birmingham City Council Highways and Planning and Regeneration departments, along with local councillors and MP Richard Burden.
Residents studied plans and made their points and asked questions of Highways officers. Some presented individual letters of objection, particularly in relation to the sudden narrowing of Longbridge Lane immediately after the brow of the railway bridge. These letter were accepted by, Peter Wright, the Area Manager of Planning and Regeneration for Birmingham City Council.
Local resident Wanda Collins also presented a petition opposing the narrowing. At the time of the meeting, she had collected a total of 835 signatures in just 24 hours, on paper petitions in shops at Sunbury Road and online at B31 Voices.
Wanda said: “A lot of the issues brought up were listened to and noted down to see what they could do. There’s still frustration about parking locally.”
She said that officials explained that the road narrowing was not meant as an obstruction and it was supposed to taper into one lane gradually. Officials said that the narrowing to one lane is so that the pedestrian walkway over the bridge can be widened.
A statement from Peter Wright, Planning and Regeneration manager, explains:
“To address the immediate concerns caused by the small build out associated with the completion of the Sainsbury’s development, the City Council has now placed a run of cones, to help direct vehicles away from the hazard. In addition, the lane merger signage leading to the build out has been relocated and additional signage provided to improve visibility and give advanced warning to vehicles. The build out will not be a permanent feature as it forms the first part of a wider enhancement scheme yet to be completed. The cones, therefore, are also a temporary solution.
At the public meeting on 2nd October, called by local politicians, Council Officers explained that a major pedestrian and environmental enhancement scheme has been designed to link the new Longbridge Local Centre to the rail station and Sunbury Road shops. These works, designed to dovetail with the St Modwen/Sainsbury’s works will deliver wider pavements, a new pedestrian crossing, environmental enhancements and an improved and safer road alignment. The Council’s works were originally due to be implemented at the same time as the Sainsbury’s works. Unfortunately, due to on-going public discussions about the scheme and associated parking issues, the scheme start has been delayed, resulting in the temporary Sainsbury’s build out causing the hazard. It is hoped to commence the scheme as soon as possible.”
Reader Bob Adams commented about the meeting: “Good turn out, parking on residential roads had a good hearing, usual ‘things are being looked into’. Plans shown for landscaping and block paving to bring Sunbury Road into the new town. Did notice that the parking bay that has been put in now has a 15 min no return within 30 mins, restriction sign, not that it will be enforced as who is going to monitor it?”