Solihull Council have performed a U-turn over zebra crossing plans on a dangerous stretch of road.
It’s taken two petitions and the tragic death of an 88 year-old pensioner, but a consultation is finally being planned over installing the crossing on Cranmore Boulevard, Shirley.
The saga began after Betty McCulloch was knocked down and killed in 2009 at the accident blackspot, near nurseries and an infants school. But a 100-strong petition was refused by councillors who pointed out a survey in 2007 found pedestrian crossings close to schools were not well used outside crossing patrol times.
Another crash last year, where the driver had a miraculous escape after a fence post impaled his car, and a near miss with a child sparked a new petition. But Transport Cabinet Member Coun Ted Richards said last June a crossing still wasn’t feasible.
Coun Peter Doyle (Con, Shirley South), said: “I presented a petition and the council came back and said they had done an assessment in Shirley which found it was unnecessary.
“But I said Shirley is a very different place to six years ago, it’s a changing dynamic - more economically prosperous, more offices, more cars going up and down the road...”
However, after further representation, the council arranged for a new survey to take place which found a zebra crossing could be installed outside 44/46 Cranmore - and suggested two speed bumps and a 20mph zone.
“We have had a closer look at the situation,” explained Coun Richards.
“We have looked at the feasibility of a new zebra crossing but it won’t be easy and will cause changes to the area. It will be very tight and we will have to remove a tree.
“Humps would cost £15,000 while a pedestrian crossing would likely cost £50,000.
“People have to understand, with the savings the council have to make, resources aren’t going to be as available as they were.
“Until we know what our local transport grants are likely to be, it has to take its place in the queue.”
A public consultation is due to take place.