Rail passengers in the south-east are the least satisfied

— Which? (@WhichUK) February 18, 2016

Lorry accident in Brownhills in the 1970s – can anyone help?

brownhills logoReblogged from BrownhillBob’s Brownhills Blog.

For more on the ‘Life in the northern wastes of Walsall’, he’s on Twitter: @BrownhillsBob

Thankfully, serious accidents in Brownhills have been relatively infrequent, and so much so as to make them notable when they occur – which is why reader Brian Holmes has piqued my interest with this enquiry which reached me via Facebook this week.

Lorry accident in the 1970s

Traffic accidents are a sad fact of life – like this 1936 one, in which the driver had a lucky escape. Image from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

Brian Holmes asks:

Hi Bob

My pal in Liverpool assures me that he was in a breakdown truck that came to recover a lorry that was imbedded in the side of a pub in Brownhills in either late 60s early 70s.

If he’s correct then it must have been reported in the local press, could someone tell me which local paper,  apart from the Express and Star, covered Brownhills?

Many thanks
Brian

First up, in answer to Brian, the papers that covered the area at the time were the Express & Star, Walsall Observer and Lichfield Mercury, although the last one is very patchy. The archives of the Walsall Observer are available for that period for free inspection on microfiche at Walsall Local History Centre in Essex Street.

Secondly, I can’t recall this incident, but one would imagine it to have occurred at a pub either close to the road or at a junction. Suggestions so far have been The Crown on the A5Station Hotel (which was in the High Street where Aldi is now) or The Sportsman. I’m having a job visualising it being the latter, but anything is possible I guess.

Does anyone have any recollection of this event? If so, please comment here or drop me a line to BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

£1.7M improvements at Acocks Green station nearing completion

Birmingham UpdatesThis is a reblogged post, originally written by Birmingham Updates.

For more updates on ‘News, Travel and Weather’, they are also at @BhamUpdates 

Work installing lifts in a £1.7 million improvement scheme at Acocks Green Station is nearing completion.

Acocks Green Station dates from the Edwardian-era and is one of the busiest rail station in the West Midlands, with 388,592 passenger journeys in 2012/13. However it has previously only had stairs to allow access to the platform from the street and booking hall.

The improvements involve installing lift access from the station booking office to the car park and platforms via a new footbridge spanning the tracks.

Acocks green station

The work is being delivered by Centro and part-funded by the Department for Transport as part of the Access for All scheme – Access for All is a Department for Transport strategy to improve the accessibility of the UK’s railway network.

Funding is granted to improve infrastructure at stations to allow access for anyone for whom stairs would be a barrier, including the disabled, parents with small children or people with heavy luggage.

The Department for Transport awarded £1 million of the total cost and the remainder is being funded by Centro.

Centro lead member for rail, Cllr Roger Horton said:

“This scheme is fantastic news for passengers, it means it will be much easier for people to go by train from Acocks Green.

A key feature is that we consulted with the local community about what we were doing and used that feedback to ensure the design of the new lift towers is in keeping with the rest of the building.”

The station, which has a free 132 space park and ride facility, is a key stop on the Birmingham Snow Hill to Leamington Spa line, an important commuter route that also serves Solihull.

Infrastructure Maintenance Delivery Manager for Network Rail, Mark Sturgess, said:

“These vital improvements to Acocks Green station will make life easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with heavy luggage or reduced mobility.

The new facilities at the station will play an important role in helping us to manage the individual needs of the increasing numbers of passengers who travel on the railway.”

Terry Oliver, head of Snow Hill services for train operator London Midland, added:

“We are delighted that accessibility is improving for passengers at Acocks Green station, thanks to the partnership between the Department for Transport and Centro.

It is one of the busiest suburban stations within the West Midlands, so this is a fantastic step forward for the hundreds of thousands of passengers that use the station each year.”

Work is due to be completed by the end of this summer.

(Image: Peter Sharples)

Q&A:Safer Travel Police – queries, concerns over public transport

Birmingham Updates Birmingham Updates bring for us a Storify of the tweets from a live Q&A session with the Safer Travel Police –  a joint force team of the West Midlands Police and the British Transport Police.

Sgt Ben Westwood answered questions and concerns related to public via Facebook and Twitter: #TweetTheSarg