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Landslide aftermath drives Stourbridge residents up the wall
Buy this photo » Red Hill still closed - two months after the landslide. Buy photo: 081332L
RESIDENTS living near the scene of a Stourbridge landslide which is forcing around 100 buses a day to divert along a quiet residential street say the problem is driving them up the wall.
The high wall that looms over Red Hill crumbled into the road two months ago on Christmas Eve - leaving the popular bus route and school run closed to traffic in both directions.
Residents in Cranbourne Road, however, say the closure has turned their narrow residential street into a rat run for diverted cars and buses.
And the problem shows little sign of a speedy fix - as authorities are still trying to determine who owns the wall.
Wendy Packer, spokesman for the residents of Cranbourne Road and a member of Stourbridge Township Council, said: “Everybody's extremely worried about safety.
“We’ve been having 100 buses a day travel up and down the road - and around 260 cars which is incredible. They can't pass each other safely and cars are mounting the pavement.
“One of my neighbours with a pushchair regularly has to step off the pavement to avoid having some sort of collision - and one bus reversed into Sherbourne Road.
“What we are concerned about is the extreme danger to pedestrians. It’s intolerable.
“Small potholes are also appearing which I'm sure will become much larger and the road surface is cracking.”
Dudley Council says temporary work, costing around £10,000, has now begun to shore up the bank with wooden rakes and shuttering.
A concrete barrier and heras fencing will also be installed to create a safe pedestrian walkway to enable the road to re-open one-way.
At a new community forum meeting last Thursday - residents were told the one-way system would be up and running by April 1 but this week Dudley’s cabinet member for transportation, councillor Judy Foster, said: “The intention is to re-open the road ‘one way’ as soon as practically possible."
She said the council was still "working to establish ownership of the collapsed bank which may take some time”.
West Midlands Police are believed to be responsibile for the wall, as part of an historic deal agreed when force-owned land was sold off, but a spokesman said this week: “We are currently making enquiries to determine who owns the land – it’s currently believed to be unregistered.”
Concerned Stourbridge resident Major Robins has slammed the situation as “dire” and is demanding swifter action be taken to get the work done and the road re-opened completely.
He said: “The council needs to take action right now and sort out who is going to pay afterwards.”
Meanwhile he is also calling for buses using Cranbourne Road to be re-routed immediately and for traffic lights at Oldswinford to be re-timed to prevent long delays as buses struggle to complete the sharp left turn from Hagley Road into Glasshouse Hill.
Councillor Colin Wilson, for Pedmore and Stourbridge East, also backed calls for a swift solution but he said restoring Red Hill as a two-way street “could take up to 12 to 18 months.”
No bus company representatives were available for comment.