Express & Star

Wolverhampton business owners up in arms over zebra crossing plans

Business and shop owners along a busy street in a residential area of Wolverhampton are up in arms over council proposals to build a zebra crossing in the middle of three parking spaces.

Campaigners Brian James and Debbie Cotter pictured with fellow business owners as they fight against a zebra crossing outside their shops in Castlecroft Road.

People that work along Castlecroft Road have objected to Wolverhampton council's plans to create a zebra crossing in the three parking spaces which are frequently used by customers.

They say that the proposals could also prove dangerous to drivers as it would be almost on a bend.

The plans could see the crossing built close to the road's junction with Bhylls Lane.

The council told the business owners in the middle of December about the plans and has given them until January 5 to respond as part of its consultation period.

However, business owners think this is not enough time to properly object to the proposals and want to make their voices heard.

Emma Williams who is a volunteer at Midlands Animal Rescue, based on the road, said: "I think the way the council has told us about this is appalling.

"Because of Christmas we have barely been given any time to respond and it makes us feel like this is already a done deal when no one around here wants it.

"By taking away those spaces the council are effectively taking away trade from these businesses that it says it wants to support.

"From our perspective as a charity shop, it means that people won't be able to park up and make their donations which means they'll either go somewhere else or to the tip, which will be a real shame."

The charity shop has set up a group on its Facebook page to try and rally people together against the plans.

A statement on the group's page said: "We have been informed of plans to site a zebra crossing outside the local shops on Castlecroft Road. All the small businesses, including our wonderful charity shop, are going to suffer drastically, as the zig zag lines will not allow any vehicle to stop for any reason.

"The charity shop depends entirely on donations to raise the funds to pay the food/ vets bills for the numerous animals we rescue and take into care. Without the donations we cannot survive.

"Local councils and the government insist they want to support small businesses and encourage us to 'shop local' but, if this crossing goes ahead, there will no longer be local shops on Castlecroft Road.

"The crossing would make far more sense further down the road anyway.

"We need to make as much noise as possible before the consultation ends on January 5 to have any chance of stopping this."

A spokesman for the Wolverhampton council said: "Following a number of requests from local residents, the City of Wolverhampton Council is proposing to install a zebra crossing on Castlecroft Road, close to its junction with Bhylls Lane, in order to help pedestrians cross this busy road safely.

“Residents and businesses are invited to comment on the proposals by emailing or writing to Adrian Dawson, Consultant Traffic Engineer, City of Wolverhampton Council, Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1RP by 5 January 2018."