Consultation over dangerous crossing closure

In the last twelve months there have been some serious road traffic accidents on the Hagley Road West near the Dog public house. The junction with Galton Road on to Hagley Road has been an accident black spot for a long time, but since the bus lane was installed the number of serious accidents has increased dramatically.

The main problem seems to arise when traffic is backed up, either from the Kings Head junction during the rush hour, or from the pedestrian crossing lights. The stationary traffic allows cars to cross from the intersection to go in to Galton Road. However, whilst the two main lanes may be stationary, the bus lane is still flowing freely, and whereas you can probably see a double-decker bus coming, taxis or motor cycles are not readily visible. This has resulted in some seriously nasty accidents, particularly in the morning rush hour.

Consequently, the Highways Department have developed a scheme which essentially closes off all movements across the junction and will mean vehicles will have to make use of the existing purpose built u-turn facility further along Hagley Road West at the junction with Balden Road.

This will require detailed working up for a Traffic Regulation Order to allow closure of the existing gap in the central reserve which will be advertised through the statutory process. This will include advertising in the local press, contacting the emergency services and erecting notices in and around the junction for people to read. In addition Highways propose to install highly visible information boards on all affected approaches to the junction, which will state the intention to close the gap and have the relevant contact information displayed for anyone to make contact/representation if they so wish.

Councillor Bob Piper said, “I have added a link to the drawings, which you can download here, (sorry about the quality, but it’s the best my limited technology could cope with) and we will also have officers making a presentation to a meeting of the Abbey Ward Neighbourhood Forum to answer any questions people may raise. We recognise this could be an inconvenience to some drivers, but given the serious nature of the accidents in the last 12 months or so, something has to be done.”




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19 Responses to Consultation over dangerous crossing closure

  1. Peter Lovatt says:

    I think it makes a lot of sense. The whole layout invites accidents.
    Even turning left as you are heading towards Bearwood is risky.

  2. Teresa Nikolic says:

    I think it’s the only possible resolution really.

  3. Jane Taylor says:

    Beechwood Rd is already busy with traffic turning off into Bearwood in the morning, and the U-turn isn’t very easy at busy times – I do use it quite often coming from Balden Rd and others. I wouldn’t be happy with closing off the Galton Rd junction, the temporary diversion that way on the Friday evening of the drive-in movie caused a significant increase in traffic jam on the way out of town as well as delay for junction users.
    A significant problem is that there is no warning sign on the Hagley Rd that there is a crossroads here, let alone a dangerous one, – it’s not visible as you drive down the road until you are right on top of it, so unless you live here you can’t know it is there, neither is there a warning that bus lane users need to reduce speed. I think it could be better to put a proper crossroads highway sign up, using the dangerous version as used in many places, put red tarmac in a wide band before the junction, ‘slow’ painted on the lanes, and yellow diamonds of a box junction on the crossing itself so that the need to be slower and cautious is apparent to all. This would benefit pedestrians at the lights as well, my daughter had many near misses when using it to go to school in the morning with motorists speeding along there.
    Also do something about bus lane abusers. I’ve taken to counting in the morning, generally three abusing for each legitimate user
    Lastly reduce congestion, thus reducing temptation to speed down there by removing the road markings near the Bearwood bus station that force every bus into the traffic flow before they can stop at the bus halts. 5 buses have to do that at around 7.55am, causing significant traffic back-up. The jam disappears on the other side of the junction though hardly anyone turns off at the lights, it is the pressure of bus lane users having to push into the jam. Again red tarmac in the bus lane, bus only signs to let them through and direction arrows for other legitimate users to rejoin traffic lane
    Or is this all too complicated for the Highways Dept. I’m sure it will not be considered because putting a line of logs across the junction is far easier for lazy thinkers, and cheaper, never mind what would be the best solution for residents and commuters who foot the bill.

  4. Sheila Finn says:

    I think it would be better to close it. I often feel quite anxious about crossing there.

  5. nemocracy says:

    What about the Kings Head junction. I suspect it is more of an accident black spot than the Galton Road junction, with many incidents involving pedestrians, including school children, trying to cross Hagley Road. I thought there was a plan to fill in the nasty subway and install pedestrian crossings. What happened?

    • Bob says:

      The Kings Head junction improvements are the responsibility of Birmingham City Council, and the work has been postponed several times over a long period of time. However, we now have a Labour controlled council in Birmingham and work is now scheduled to commence in the first week in January. It will take about six months, including filling in the subway.

  6. Mike Verduyn says:

    Councillor Bob

    I think it is an excellent proposal

    The sooner the better that the due processes are put in hand

    Mike Verduyn

  7. Judi says:

    Despite being a victim of an accident here while riding a bicycle in the bus lane I do agree with Jane.
    Over a period of years the combined effect of the closure of the right turn from Galton Road into Hagley Road followed by the introduction of a one way section at the end of Harborne Road have impacted on the volume of traffic using the residential Beechwood Road as a thoroughfare. I can only assume this closure will further exacerbate the problem.
    In addition, I suspect that if all the traffic that currently turns right into Galton Road use the U-turn instead, a combination of traffic queuing to turn at the U-turn merging with the usual stream of cars waiting to turn right into Wolverhampton Road will cause chaos.
    A simple solution may be to put in a set of traffic lights at the junction, and move the pedestrian crossing further West to the same place. This seems to be the favoured crossing place for bus users who find that the crossing is too far from the bus stop!

  8. simon dobbs says:

    I cycle this route every weekday and am curious as to why there has been an increase in accident numbers in the last 12 months given the bus route has been operational for longer.
    I fear there will be a sustaintial increase in traffic utilsing the residential Beechwood road once the non-residential Galton road route is closed.
    I believe that subsequent increased use of the alternative junction nearer the Wolverhampton road crossroads will result in substantial tailbacks in the evening rush hour.
    I would support the suggestions made by Jane above which seem far more sensible than the current council plan

    • Bob says:

      The Galton Road turning won’t be closed though, if you have done the u-turn further up you would still be able to turn left into Galton Road – although I suspect you are right about more people turning in to Beechwood Rd.

  9. Sheila Finn says:

    I have been thinking further about this and now think that instead of closing the junction, the traffic lights should be moved up to the junction. A speed limit of 30 miles an hour imposed and if anywhere needs a speed camera, it is that stretch of road as traffic hurtles down there at ridiculous speeds. It seems that closing the junction is just going to shift the problem up the road.

  10. Judi says:

    2 more points:
    If everyone does the U-turn at 8:00am it will add to the queue of traffic trying to get into town. These cars will either turn left into Beechwood Road and then Lightwoods Road or could add to the bus lane abusers and potentially cause accidents as they try to turn left into Galton Road (I’ve been cut up twice this week in this way).
    Trying to turn right out of Balden Road may currently be the preferred option to turning right at the unfiltered Wolverhampton Road lights. This is going to become an unfeasible option when there’s a queue of vehicles blocking not only the short U-turn slip lane but the right hand lane as well.

  11. Joanna says:

    I am delighted that this will be closing. My daughter was waiting to to cross onto Galton Road some years ago and was waved across by both lanes of traffic whilst they had stopped on the Hagley Road. However a taxi was speeding on the inside which hit my daughter’s car and resulted in it being written off. She suffered whiplash and an injured foot and the taxi driver claimed £1000’s in damages! She has not driven since as it completely knocked her confidence and as she was only 18 at the time.

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