£500k spent on trying to improve traffic flow

More than £500,000 has been spent on improving traffic flow along some of Walsall’s busiest roads as part of a carbon busting project.

Transport authority Centro teamed up with Walsall Council to identify key congested routes in the borough and a package of improvements were introduced to speed up journey times, improve bus reliability and cut congestion. Changes made over the last year include improving traffic junctions, crossings to improve walking access to local facilities and installing ‘intelligent’ traffic signals.

The number four bus route connecting Walsall to the shopping and employment centres of West Bromwich, Blackheath and Brierley Hill is just one of the routes that has benefited. Other changes have been made along well used roads linking Walsall to Darlaston and Wednesbury.

The funding has come from Centro’s Smart Network, Smarter Choices project.

Councillor Judith Rowley, Centro’s lead member for fair, accessible and sustainable transport, said: “This work will improve travel for those using public transport and cut congestion for essential road users like buses and hauliers.

“These measures should really help improve journeys for Walsall people wanting to get to and from key areas like West Bromwich, Blackheath and Brierley Hill.

“Delivering people into the heart of these centres means that we can support the economy by better connecting residents to jobs and making it easier for people to visit popular shopping areas.”

The work has also included upgrading four pedestrian crossings to puffin crossings to help improve safety for those travelling on foot and to cut down on traffic delay for buses and motorists.

Traffic lights at the crossings have been fitted with energy efficient LED lights which last longer and reduce the need for engineers to visit the sites to replace traditional bulbs.

Council bosses in Walsall have welcomed the changes.

Walsall’s regeneration and transport chief, Councillor Adrian Andrew said: “As a council it’s one of our top priorities to create safe and sustainable places for people in Walsall.

“These measures will improve access to other key Black Country centres for Walsall residents and provide improved links for work, shopping and leisure.

Visit www.mynetwork.org.uk for details.