I read with interest your August Village View concerning the “rat run” through Alvechurch, and would like to make the following comments and suggestions.
1) The Alvechurch “bypass” is not a true bypass (it is too far away). It is solely a feeder road to and from the M42, predominantly for Birmingham and Redditch residents. The large number of “rat run” motorists who used the bypass recently only did so because they were diverted to it when Swan Street was closed.
2) Barnt Green high street doesn’t have the same volume of traffic as Alvechurch village centre. The Barnt Green “rat run” is along the B4120 Bittell Road. Solutions for Alvechurch high street need to be different.
3) The article mentioned local councillors. It would be nice to hear from them occasionally (other than when they’re asking for our votes) about what they are actually doing to try and slow down the traffic through Alvechurch, where 40mph seems to be the minimum for many motorists.
We never see any police officers with speed guns, and we never see any county council traffic surveys (cables across the road measuring speeds by time of day); both things councillors could be pressing for.
4) It is not possible to reduce the number of vehicles travelling around the area; there is not the political will to do so. The best you can achieve is to slow the traffic down.
How to slow the traffic through Alvechurch:
Reducing the 40mph limits to 30mph and the 30mph to 20mph AND enforcing them with traffic cameras would be at least self-financing. Any surplus fines could be used for local good causes.Hopefully over time drivers would get the message, slow down and our roads become safer. A bonus of this approach is that with traffic travelling at lower speeds there is less noise and air pollution.
There would be some challenges in achieving this. But, as the major obstacle is the many politicians who are far too often reluctant to upset the motoring fraternity, perhaps a good start would be to elect some politicians who pledge to at least try to solve the problem.
Howard Allen, Alvechurch