Wednesday 10 February 2016

Conversation in road improvement

Accidents on Swan Corner in past 10 yrs
Swan Corner roundabout is an accident blackspot, with about 20 reported accidents in the past ten years, causing many more 'serious' and 'slight' injuries - it's also right outside Swanshurst School, and next to my house.

Consultation on road changes can be challenging - Who should be involved? How important is their perspective?  Swan Corner Community Group grew from the first (failed) consultation for roundabout improvements in 2013-14.  How likely could the views of a school (parents and children), a pub (both the owner and customers), road users and local residents be properly taken into consideration to make our roads safer?

It appears Garry Dalton, Hall Green District Engineer, has succeeded in gaining approval for plans - improvements based on the previous plan from two years earlier - to make road improvements for 'Safer routes to school'.

So what's been different from last time?  Here's some of the differences
  • 20mph campaign, raising awareness of our dangerous roads.  Swan Corner Community Group (SCCG) have also successfully campaigned for Brook Lane to be included in Kings Heath 20mph zone, being implemented as I write.
  • SCCG initiated work with Swanshurst School to develop conversations between residents and  Swanshurst school on issues important to both, in particular Travel to Swanshurst.
  • SCCG ran it's own transparent online survey to contribute to Garry's paper form, open for all to see online - Plan for Safer route to Swanshurst and results from responses,
  • We also organised a public meeting to solely discuss the road improvements, and was a main agenda item on many more SCCG meetings
The road improvements haven't happened yet, and its only a hunch, but I can't help feeling open transparent conversations between residents, the Council, the school and other interested people could be making the difference between plans going forwards or backward.

Part of #29daysofwriting -

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