Balsall Common Centre
Balsall Parish Council set up a working group to consider ways and means to solve the obvious traffic management problems that have bedevilled the centre for many years. This working group became part of the Balsall Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for consultation and survey.
Many residents have already expressed the view that two-way traffic flow, combined with double-parked delivery lorries and motorists backing into passing traffic from both sides of the road is not a happy combination. The working group has already come to certain conclusions about how traffic might be managed better in the centre. These range from the provision of an extra ten or more parking places in the library carpark to a wholesale re-design of the village centre by separating traffic flow and providing a “shared space” environment.
The working group put their ideas to the test via extensive consultation with road users, pedestrians and local businesses in the shopping parade and Balsall Parish NDP now contains a Community Aspiration (CA 2) for centre improvement. We are looking to Solihull Council (SMBC) to work with both Balsall Parish Council and Berkswell Parish Council (as the village centre has premises in two council areas) to achieve:
a) a reduction in traffic congestion in the village centre
b) increasing both driver and pedestrian safety in the shopping area
c) providing extra off-road parking behind the centre shops
d) providing a more desirable central location giving better community focus for the village as a whole
e) a reduction in speeding.
A concept only image of how the centre could look has been generated – however SMBC will explore a viable option and have now committed to doing this in their recent Local Plan Consultation, see page 22.
In the meantime the council works with SMBC to improve general ‘housekeeping’ in the centre – see this list of current concerns.
8 large pavement planters and 20 guardrail planters are provided by Balsall Parish Council with flowers throughout the year and at Christmas, two lit Christmas trees and Christmas lights are installed.