Brian Seymour-Smith, the Labour Party Candidate for Foley Park and Hoobrook, is calling on Worcestershire County Council to urgently make safe and clear the main footpath which runs alongside and up to the Severn Valley Railway Bridge on the busy main A442 Worcester Road leading into Kidderminster.

Brian_on_A442_footpath.PNGBrian wants action taken before someone is very seriously injured or killed by the heavy passing traffic which constantly uses the main road.

For several years, residents who use this pavement on a regular basis, have been warning the council about the dangers the footpath poses, asking them to do something about it.

The Worcester Road is an extremely busy road. The A442 dual-carriageway narrows as it meets the Severn Valley Railway Bridge. This means traffic, in particular heavy lorries, are then suddenly forced into an almost bottleneck situation. This forces the vehicles and particularly those drivers who do not know the road, to sometimes mount the pavement in order to avoid a vehicle collision. For any pedestrians walking on the footpath at the very narrowest point, this leaves them vulnerable to a potentially life-threatening situation, especially the elderly and parents pushing baby buggies.

As Brian explains, “The problem has come about because over long period of time, earth has eroded from the embankment overlooking the pavement. Foliage has grown up from the spillage, narrowing the footpath. Because no proper action has been taken to remove this overspill, it means the footpath has become extremely narrow at one very dangerous pointwhich is no more than a baby buggy wide”.

He adds, “Local residents have been telling me they want the following to happen:

  • The earth mound which has found its way onto the footpath to be cleared back to its original width, providing ample room for pedestrians to walk along the footpath
  • A wall to be built (as previously suggested) to stop the earth from collapsing onto the pavement. This needs to be done with the agreement of adjoining private propertieswho must also share major concerns about this problem
  • That metal fencing be erected along the side of the footpath adjacent to the main road
  • Barriers and clear signage erected which clearly warns about the dangers for traffic approaching the Severn Valley Railway Bridge
  • And a meeting held with local residents in a suitable location to listen to their concerns and to talk about how and when this work will be carried out, together with all local recommendations taken into account.”

Brian has written to Worcestershire County Council and requested that urgent action is taken to resolve this situation. He will also be writing to local residents to back his local campaign to demand Worcestershire County Council resolve this dangerous situation.

Brian concluded, “I understand the local Tory MP and local Tory councillors have in the past been approached to resolve this matter. An inspector came from the council to investigate the situation, but nothing more was done. Therefore, I am launching this campaign so that I can support local residents and send a clear message to Worcestershire County Council to take urgent action before someone is killed or seriously injured.”

Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour Press Officer added “Brian is to be congratulated for raising this issue and highlighting Tory inaction on it despite repeated requests to local Tory Councillors and even the MP. Wyre Forest Labour are right behind Brian and calling for urgent action on this dangerous road. What are the council going to do? Wait until someone is seriously injured or killed before bothering to do anything? Local residents, and incidentally drivers using the road, deserve a better response from the Tory County Council. Those senior Wyre Forest Tory Councillors in influential County positions need to start earning their money and step off their gravy train and support the local residents they were elected to serve.”

Read Brian’s letter to Foley Park and Hoobrook residents here

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