A Grand opening
Last week I saw an article about my MP Gary Sambrook about the opening of an underpass under the Bristol Road in Longbridge Town Centre. I thought that I’d go and check it out.
A new option to cross to the Bristol Road South
Prior to the opening of the Underpass to get from Longbridge Lane to the Bristol Road South you would either have to walk through Longbridge Town Cente and risk being run over by motor vehicles by sprinting across the many lanes of traffic, or walk around the Town Centre and across at the traffic lights. The traffic light option adds 5-10 minutes to the journey when walking. What this new underpass allows is a traffic free direct route to the other side of the Bristol Road South. This means that it is the quickest option to get to this point and you no longer need to play Frogger with traffic.
Using it for the first time
Coming from the town centre you go under the Road and turn left. You then find yourself on the other side of the Road on the junction of the Bristol Road and the Bristol Road South. The first time that I did it I was very confused as to where I was after I left the underpass. The underpass does have lights so is lit during night time. I can see why it might be deemed unsafe at night as there is a blind turn. You can’t see right through, from one end of the underpass to the other. I couldn’t see any signs of CCTV. CCTV would be helpful in this spot. During daylight hours it will be really helpful. People might understandably want to avoid it at night. On the whole I am pleased that the underpass has been opened, it is adding in a new option to cross from one side of the road to the other. If people are not comfortable using it then they can still walk at ground level. I shall use it to cycle and walk, definitely during the day. I may see how it feels at night once and then decide whether it feels safe enough to use.
Extension of Cycle Route 5
On a side note, this underpass is going to become part of the Cycle Route 5. At the moment this branch of the Route awkwardly ends by Longbridge Station. An earlier branch goes off to the Waseley Hills. I don’t know exactly where this new branch off will go to, but I think it will go towards Rubery. Of course, a proper segregated cycle path is what I as a cycle campaigner desire, but an extension of Route 5 to Rubery would be welcome.