THE VILLAGE VIEW

At last the menace of motorists speeding through our villages appears to have come to the notice of those who can do something about it.

For years, this publication has railed about the rat-run between Redditch and south Birmingham through Alvechurch, Barnt Green and Cofton Hackett.

We remember well the phone call we received from the then Worcestershire County Council leader and county councillor for Alvechurch in March 2005 when we launched a “Stop the Traffic” campaign.

He was more than a little put out that we were urging other candidates to stand against him in the approaching elections unless we saw some action to curb speeding along our roads.

Despite our efforts, little happened – until now. Recent issues of The Village have carried reports of an impressively quick response to a residents’ campaign in Cofton Hackett.

Within weeks of one man starting a petition, a whole raft of improvements were promised for Barnt Green Road including, crucially, the reduction of the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph.

It hasn’t yet gone far enough, still allowing a twisty downhill stretch to remain at 40mph, but highways officials have said they will look at that next, if it is necessary.

They are now considering as a whole the route from Cobbs Barn, south of Alvechurch, through to the bottom of Rose Hill in Cofton Hackett, recognising that best way to push motorists along the Alvechurch bypass and up the A441 into Birmingham is to make it slow going along the B4120.

Highways officials have said the idea of these changes is to “provide the motorist with a clear and consistent message as to the appropriate speed to drive along this particular section of road”.

So they are also making the whole of Bittell Road, from Roberts Corner in Alvechurch right into Barnt Green, a 40mph zone from its current National Speed Limit.

It is almost as if a light has gone on in a room somewhere and someone has found the right plan, sitting there on the desk all the time.

If these changes are enforced, motorists should soon get the message that they’d be better off avoiding the scenic route.

Ah, enforcement – where’s a policeman with a speed gun when you want one? Well, how about that . . . if you look at this story, there are three, all at once!