The new floral trail of danger?
|Published: 16th October 2008 16:52|
Britain in Bloom winner Kings Heath has a new floral trail - but this is not one that local leaders are celebrating.
Floral tributes adorn two traffic junctions on the A435 Alcester Road, where two local people have been killed in just a few weeks.
The double tragedy has led to calls for more to be done about traffic speeding and thundering through the area.
In the first incident Billesley teenager Sophia Holder was hit by a car as she crossed the main road outside the Horseshoe pub, by Warstock Lane.
Today her school friends have turned the traffic island into a shrine to the popular Swanshurst pupil.
There are flowers, teddies and school ties attached to the railings, while one friend has written simply "RIP Sophia love Lauren" across the pedestrian crossing signal.
Further towards the High Street, bouquets tied to a lamppost also mark the sport where a 78 year-old man was killed when he was hit by a juggernaut as he tried to cross the road.
"Lorries should stick to motorways, this is a High Street," said shop worker Suzanne who was one of the first on the scene.
"I heard a noise and someone screaming. It was a horrible sight," she said. "The man's shoes were outside the shop, but he was lying further up the road. A passing policewoman asked me to help find something to cover the body."
Her calls for something to be done about the traffic were backed by Mary, who shops in Kings Heath High Street three or four times a week.
"It is too narrow for all this traffic, especially big trucks," she said. "The corner by Woolworth's definitely needs some lights."
Rose, out shopping with her daughter, thought there were enough crossings already. "But people just don't use them," she added.
"It's crazy at times. There is too much traffic, but if it didn't take this route it would use the side roads and there are children there," she said.
Traffic along Kings Heath High Street has risen to the top of the political agenda in recent weeks, with one local councillor championing the idea of a so-called Red Route to cut congestion, while other local councillors deny there are any proposals at all.
Kings Heath Business Association chairman Stan Hems says plans to restrict lorries delivering to shops could kill of the majority of businesses and he is also campaigning to cut the number of buses running on the Number 50 route.
Today he told AboutMyArea a Red Route would make the High Street even more dangerous as traffic would travel even faster.
In Moseley Village, the chairman of Moseley Forum David Isgrove has an alternative radical suggestion. He wants to remove all traffic signs and pavement, so that people and vehicles have a ‘shared space'. He claims traffic, including lorries and buses, would be forced to drive more slowly if pedestrians were wandering about.
Shared space in Kings Heath High Street?
a pedestrian with shopping dodges the High Street traffic
while a driver talks on his mobile phone.