They don’t answer correspondence.

traffic gridlock mail feb 15

As the Mail warns of a further traffic gridlock due to the ‘Super September’ festival, a ‘solid citizen’ passes on unanswered correspondence, addressed to two Selly Oak Labour councillors:

“I thought I should let you both know about the growing traffic chaos in Birmingham due largely to a combination of unrestricted parking and speed.

“This is well illustrated by my experience driving in to the University this morning. At around 11.00am (not rush hour) I approached the Bristol road along Eastern road. The last stretch was reduced to single lane because of extensive parking on both sides. On reaching the junction with the Bristol road I had no visibility of the on-coming traffic because there was continuous parking on either side of the junction which reduced the Bristol road to a single carriageway. All the vehicles moving in the westerly direction were moving at speeds considerably in excess of the statutory 40mph because of the non-functioning speed camera. This has been the case for a number of years. Having waited a long time for the traffic to clear I was forced to join the rapidly moving stream at considerable risk to life and limb. There has to be a serious accident if this situation is allowed to persist.

“It is my general impression that Birmingham is now very close to gridlock and the “blind-eye” policy of unauthorised parking and unregulated speed is worsening the situation.

“I know this situation can be attributed largely to government cuts but this would be of little consolation to a seriously injured cyclist or to the parents of a dead child. Can I, through you, urge the City Council to get a grip of this emergency and show some guts in tackling the ever-growing menace of the motor car. This will become evermore pressing with the impending crisis surrounding the urgent need to control diesel emissions and the recent Supreme Court ruling on this matter.

“I would appreciate a reply to this communication with, I hope, some indication of a long-range strategy concerning traffic in Birmingham. It would be reassuring to know that there is such a strategy and that we are not just faced with the prospect of the progressive destruction of our environment.

“I look forward to hearing from you”, etc, etc


“It is now over a month since I sent you the e-mail concerning the growing traffic chaos in Birmingham and I still have not received a reply, not even an acknowledgement.

“I appreciate that there might be a lack of response post-election but a month seems a bit excessive, particularly as the risk to life and limb grows ever more real.

Bristol Road traffic

Bristol Road traffic

“My experiences outlined in my previous e-mail have been repeated on a number of subsequent occasions and in particular, yesterday morning at 7.00am when we had to leave early for a funeral in Sheffield. Even at this fairly early hour the Bristol Road was a virtual car park and we had to take our life in our hands when crossing from the single lane Eastern Road across the single lane West bound carriageway of the Bristol road to join the single East-bound carriageway. Not a police-officer in sight and just disabled speed cameras.

“Clearly we survived this ordeal but surely it is only a matter of time before there is serious injury or even death as a consequence of this lack of governance on the part of the Council and the Police Authority. Is such a tragedy the only trigger for action?

“This time I would appreciate a response and please not the usual official gobbledegook”.

We ask:

Are local councillors obliged to answer their constituents? If not, why not?

And is the managing director of McCarthy & Stone’s Midlands Office, Darren Humphreys, well advised to ignore a constructive message about one of his developments, promptly and efficiently passed on by his head office?