Sandwell Council is investigating the potential for using the concept of 'living walls' to help relieve the pollution issues around Bearwood Road.
Councillor Bob Piper said, “I have been meeting with council officers and public health officials about exploring innovative ways of trying to deal with the problem of pollution. With slow moving traffic, and many decrepit buses – both of which also need to be tackled – Bearwood Road is one of the most polluted roads in the borough.
“It is acknowledged that greenery can help to reduce the pollution levels and we are looking at ways to introduce the concept of living walls and trees to Bearwood. A number of cities around the country have experimented with the idea, and we are now in discussion with some companies to trial the idea here. The walls not only help with the problem, they can also look pretty good too! If you imagine areas such as the Aldi/Argos building there is possibly some scope there, and some of the stark brick gable ends could also be used.”
“One plan could also include some greenery in 'living barriers' at kerbside. There are already some rather ugly metal barriers, and as long as any safety issues can be overcome, it may be possible to do something imaginative to replace these. Some near Bearwood Road school could not only reduce pollution levels near the children's playground, they could have a bonus impact by preventing inconsiderate parents pulling up on the pavement to drop their children off!”
Council leaders are also considering the potential for tree planting on Bearwood Road too. Councillor Piper added, “We have identified some possible sites where smallish trees could be planted, and those plans are currently being evaluated. Again, I think they could really brighten up Bearwood Road, and some decorative lights around Christmas would enhance the existing limited decorations.”