West Midlands to get £85m to fix potholes

potholes

  Image by Alan Stanton

 

The West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority will get a total of £85,055,000 to tackle its potholes.

 In the West Midlands region, the funds include the following local authorities:

  1. Coventry
  2. Dudley
  3. Sandwell
  4. Solihul
  5. Walsall
  6. Wolverhampton.

This is a part of the total £6 billion funds of announced today by the Department for Transport (DfT) for improving local roads between 2015 to 2021. It aims to help English local authorities fix 18 million potholes with these funds.

Over £4.7bn will be shared between 115 councils, while a further £575m will be available through a challenge fund for maintaining infrastructure such as junctions, bridges and street lighting.

Birmingham City Council is not included for these funds as:

“highways maintenance for this authority is provided through a Highways Maintenance Private Finance Initiative “

An interactive map on the DfT website gives more details of funds in each region.

‘A go-anywhere transport system’, Birmingham Connected discussed at council meeting

by Ion Mates

Transport in Birmingham was the main issue in a meeting at Birmingham City Council.

Birmingham Connected was discussed recently by the Economy and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Anne Shaw, Head of Transportation Services, presented the progress.

More details on the scheme are available under the Birmingham Connected Whitepaper, outlining a 20 year transport strategy for the city.

The session continued with a private agenda.

This post was originally published on Birmingham Eastside.

 

#BrumTunnels reopen after 6 weeks

The A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels reopened early morning after refurbishment works for 6 weeks over the summers.

Overnight closures will still be place for the rest of the month.

Works done this year

As explained by Alex Franklin, assistant project manager:

“This year’s work is more technically detailed from a mechanical and electrical point of view”

 

Ventilation

New ventilation systems and wayfarer signs (indicating emergency exit direction and distance). PHOTO CREDITS: @brumtunnels

Here’s a list of the works done this year

  • 27 PA speakers
  • 21 CCTV cameras
  • 32 vehicle detection cameras
  • 48 emergency phones
  • 4 digital variable message signs
  • Over 160 emergency way-finder signs
  • 7 controlled evacuation doors
  • Over 40 miles of electrical cabling needed to run the new systems

 More news on the tunnels elsewhere today:

More here on the tunnels from last summer.

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.

#Brumtunnels on A38 to reopen in 2 weeks

The second year of the refurbishment of the Queensway tunnels on the A38 are nearly done. The tunnels will reopen at 6am on September 1.

Major works being done this year include renewing the ventilation systems, installation of new security and communications systems.

The tunnels have been shut for these works since July 18 this year.

Last year the tunnels were shut for 6 weeks for upgradation of the LED lighting, fire protection and road resurfacing.

With the reopening just two weeks away, here are a few updates on the works so far:

To remind you about what happened in the tunnels last summer, you can read our older stories here and look at some pictures here, some videos here and our liveblogs about the traffic here.

AUDIO: ‘Leaving EU to be a huge setback for disabled people in the UK’ – Richard Rieser

“Our European Union membership has been of great benefit to disabled people – for instance the European Equal Employment directive. Leaving the EU will mean we will go backwards in such things”

said Richard Rieser, founder of Disable History Month.

He chaired the round table session at Moving On Accessible Transport 2013 held at the Coventry Transport Museum on 23 November.

More from him on Europe, UK and accessible transport:

 

VIDEO: What do cyclists do at traffic junctions for their safety?

Chris Lowe, a cyclist from the campaign group Push Bikes, explained to Brum Transport the problems cyclists face at traffic junctions while trying to cross the streets.

In the video here, Chris is at a traffic junction Great Charles Street Queensway. He crosses this junction everyday on his way to work.

He says,

“We either have to learn to cycle in traffic or get off the bike and push it across the street – and neither of them is the best solution. We want a solution that makes a cyclist feel safe.”

Chris feels the £24m grants that were recently announced for Birmingham as a part of the cycle city ambition bid need to focus on buidling cycling infrastructure around traffic junctions.

Earlier on Brum Transport: AUDIO – Mum stops traffic in Kings Heath to make streets safer for cyclists.

Soon to follow: Graham Lennard from the Birmingham City Council on what are the next steps with the £24m cycling funds. 

VIDEO: ‘Some traffic changes made during A38 closures will stay on’ – Kevin Hicks

Analysing the traffic patterns during the 6 weeks of tunnel closures, Kevin Hicks, Traffic Manager, Birmingham City Council, said some traffic changes will continue even now.

The tunnels were closed from 19 July to 2 September.

In an interview with Brum Transport, he explained why some of these alterations will be useful even outside the closures and the summer holiday periods:

Soon to follow: Reactions from commuters during the closures and after the reopening of the tunnels

VIDEO: ‘Brum Tunnels ready on schedule’ – Eddie Fellows, Amey

Talking to Brum Transport on the morning of the reopening of the tunnels, Eddie Fellows, Highway network manager, Amey said the tunnels are ready on schedule.

The tunnels reopen today after 6 weeks of refurbishment works, that include new LED lights, resurfaced roads and fire protection.

On being asked about the recent allegations of the tunnel contractors engaging about 40 per cent workers from outside the local area, he said:

“Only 4% of the workers were from outside the UK”

More from him in the video interview here:

Soon to follow: Interview with Birmingham City Council Traffic manager Kevin Hicks on what to expect next. 

PHOTOS: Last weekday of the A38 tunnel closures

On Monday the St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels will reopen, after 6 weeks of refurbishment. Today is the last weekday of the closures.

Great Charles StreetFrom 2 September onwards, there will be 2 weeks of night time closures to finish the remaining works.

night closuresWork in progress for the tunnels. Contractors say they will be ready for day time use on Monday.

work in progress

Bus timings that were changed on the Great Charles street for the last 6 weeks:

Bus stop changes Traffic congestions during the last 6 weeks of the closures:Traffic congestions during the closuresSoon to follow: Interview with Kevin Hicks, traffic manager, Birmingham City Council, giving more details of how the traffic flow will improve in the city centre now with better signalling systems.