Monday, 30 March 2009

Red Route

The above letter appeared in our local free paper last weekend. I know the person who has been writing and his opposition to the red route and in particular to the traffic lights proposed for junction of Hamstead Road and Newton Road. Newton Rd is the main road which skirts our ward and Hamstead Road junction a very dangerous place at any time.
Mostly his letters have been transparent and harmless but this week he crossed the line. I have written to the Observer complaining about his letter and setting out what I know are the real reason behind his rants.
letter follows:-

To the editor Great Barr Observer
Re Lights will make traffic worse. Observer Your letters Friday March 27th
For the past few weeks you have been publishing letters from J Massey against the red route but mostly against the introduction of traffic lights at the junction of Newton Road and Hamstead Road. Mostly these letters have been transparent and harmless. This week though I believe Mr. Massey crossed a line in his ramblings against the lights and I must take exception to his comments.
He refers to the use of temporary lights at this junction causing long delays. I believe he is referring to the gas main work which was a very complex three way control system which worked very well and did in fact improve traffic flow.
He goes on to claim that emergency services will be affected by the introduction of lights and that the lives of residents of the Hamstead triangle will be put at risk. He full well knows the views of the emergency services on this which is, it is not an issue. In fact with better traffic control at the lights emergency vehicles will be able to get through quicker and does he not stop and move over like the rest of us when we see a blue flashing light or hear a siren? This is just blatant scare mongering.
He then raises the spectre of faulty lorries trying to stop on a downhill bend and in some way suggests that any accident accrued from this would be the fault of Tony Fowler, Cllrs Ward, Hosell, myself and other members of Great Barr & Newton Neighbourhood watch association who organised a petition to get traffic lights at this junction. The petition contained 750 signatures. I had the privilege of presenting this petition to West Bromwich Town Committee. Mr Massy was as I remember it the only dissenting voice. Once again blatant scare mongering. The fault here would be with the driver and operating company and I resent his inference that any of us have acted or would act in such a way as to put the public at risk. He then goes on to say he will in effect gloat if such an accident happened. Shame on you. What is being proposed for the red route will be a major step forward in road safety to our area which is long overdue. He talks about keeping the traffic moving. What he really means is not having stationary traffic near his home. Traffic needs to move safely from and into Hamstead Road and also into and from Forge Lane the proposals will reduce delays at these junctions and make both junctions safer than they have ever been.
A couple of weeks ago he complained of Sandwell’s fixation with using traffic lights on stilts. This practise which is now quite common in other parts of the country gives drivers earlier warning of traffic lights ahead and is in effect another major safety measure which Mr Massey feels does not matter.
The final piece of pettiness I feel is his reference to wasting money on red paint. The only thing here should be his red face when the traffic lights are installed and we have a safer junction.
bob the black country brummie

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