Families are in 'danger' crossing a major Sutton Coldfield commuter route in to a town beauty spot say campaigners, as they seek a ‘proper pedestrian crossing’ across the road.
Sutton Vesey town councillor Manish Puri (Lab.) has launched a petition online calling for a zebra crossing across Monmouh Drive, near to the roundabout at Stonehouse Road, and is seeking Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council backing.
Cllr Puri said: “Trying to get into Sutton Park on foot through the Boldmere Gate entrance on Stonehouse Road can be a dangerous business, especially if you are elderly or walking with children.
“Our community includes many families and older residents who may be put off enjoying the park, or end up driving there out of road safety concerns.
“We are, therefore, launching a major campaign to look into getting a proper zebra crossing at the site. We understand the complex nature of the junction but also that Royal Sutton Town Council have substantial funds accumulated from our precept that could fund the work.”
The petition calls for the town council to ‘commission a proper pedestrian crossing at the junction of Monmouth Drive and Stonehouse Road’ to help people cross the road in to Sutton Park by Boldmere Gate.
Cllr Puri says Sutton Park is the ‘heart and lungs’ of the town and that everyone should have ‘safe easy access to enjoy all it offers’. He also says people should be encouraged to walk or cycle to the park and leave their cars at home.
Increasing traffic on the road is cited as making it ‘increasingly difficult’ for pedestrians to cross safely – but the site does benefit from an existing pedestrian refuge in the middle of the road.
Cllr Puri is supported by fellow Vesey Labour town and city councillor, Rob Pocock. He said: “Every day I watch young families and elderly people attempting to cross at this point, and they are taking their lives in their hands.
“People get stranded on the little refuge spot in the middle of the road, not knowing what to do next. Drivers can appear from nowhere and it is really unclear whether pedestrians or traffic have the priority at this dangerous spot.”
The Labour duo say the town council has successfully used its funds to support similar road safety work in other parts of Sutton Coldfield, most notably the recent traffic calming and road humps in the vicinity of Bishop Walsh School on Wylde Green Road. They say the town council is understood to have more than £3 million in an under-spend retained in its bank accounts
Cllr David Allan (Trinity, Cons.), who chairs the planning and highways committee on Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, said the authority was willing to look at this – but it has yet to be formally raised with him.
He said: “We are always open to hearing from our residents where there are problems.
“There is actually already a dedicated crossing up at that roundabout, with dropped kerbs and a central refuge.
“We are happy to look at this. Certainly road safety is Birmingham’s [city council] responsibility but we are willing to look at this and have done in the past. We can use our traffic survey to see what the demand is and discuss with our highways engineers what the parameters are.”
Anyone wanting to sign the petition can visit: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/a-zebra-crossing-for-monmouth-drive-for-safer-entry-to-sutton-park