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Residents of Cradley Heath fatal smash street in appeal for action

Sandwell | News | Published:

Angry residents have renewed calls to introduce more traffic-calming measures on a Cradley Heath road that was the scene of a fatal smash.

A woman died and five others were injured in the three-car collision on Waterfall Lane on Wednesday.

It emerged householders have been campaigning for safety features on the 1:7 gradient road, which rises steeply from the Perry Park Road junction to Holly Road, for more than a year.

Some improvements have been made but others are still to be carried out.

Residents say the main problems are caused by motorists who speed and the number of lorry drivers who use the road as a short cut.

Grandmother-of-two Jackie Lloyd launched a petition in January last year after a car lost control when it clipped the kerb and ended up in her driveway six feet from her front window.

She said the road needed traffic-calming measures because of the dangerous bend at the junction of Higgs Field Crescent, where the collision occurred, and the speeds at which some motorists drive, although there is no suggestion that speeding was involved in the latest accident.

Mrs Lloyd, 58, said: "I am so angry. Now someone has died. Nobody wanted this to happen but nobody is surprised.

"We are grateful that the council has done some work, like narrowing the entrance to the road, but they still have to put up signs diverting traffic away from the lane.

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"Unfortunately this road was uses a diversion when Powke Lane was being resurfaced and some motorists have used it as a short cut ever since. It's become a rat run."

Neighbour Roger Thompson, 64, a self-employed painter and decorator, was one of the first on the scene following last week's crash.

He agreed that the volume of traffic had significantly increased since the Powke Road resurfacing, which brought in lorries travelling to and from the Waterfall trading estate at the top of the hill.

But he said. "It's been building up for years. I've lived here since 1984 and the number of incidents on the road has been getting much worse. The best solution would be to make it a one-way system."

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Residents have got copies of plans drawn up by the council to improve the road but they are still waiting for all of them to be implemented.

Mrs Lloyd said: "We appreciate the council's actions so far but they haven't finished the job. If they want video evidence of speeding, I've got plenty of footage on my phone.

"It's frightening to watch mothers with pushchairs take their children to Highfields Primary along this road because of the traffic. If something is not done soon, it will be a child that's killed next."

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