Nearly 10 years since it was approved and finance was made available through the Ministry of Transport, work is finally almost ready to start on the Kings Head Junction of the Hagley Road/Bearwood Road/Lordswood Road.
Abbey Ward councillors have been campaigning for these improvements for over 15 years and in that time there have been a series of tragic accidents. The work was being held up because of the need to purchase land from the Kings Head pub and a small number of residents on the Birmingham side of the Hagley Road. The Kings Head pub is leased from Calthorpe Estates, and although they had no objection the leaseholders did, but they have now withdrawn their objection.
Philip Santos, from Birmingham City Council who are overseeing the project, told Councillor Bob Piper,
“We are now in the process of drawing up a full business case to be presented to both the City and Sandwell Councils. It is a big scheme, costing around £1.3 million and work will take about 30 weeks to complete, but we are pleased to say we expect the work to start in October.”
The first phase of the work will involve the filling in of the tunnel underneath the Hagley Road. This has been the subject of much controversy over the years, with many regarding it as a haven for anti-social behaviour and it also tends to flood during heavy rain as we have witnessed again recently.
The City Council carried out a consultation on both sides of the border around two years ago and the scheme that has been drawn up took the comments made at the consultation into consideration. One thing that featured was the need for a proper pedestrian phase on the traffic lights, particularly to allow children crossing from the two Lordswood secondary schools to cross at busy times.