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A trip to Walsall


GALLERY 031

I went to the wonderful town of Walsall yesterday.  I used to think Walsall was great. The market used to go up the hill nearly to the church and that street was lined with little interesting shops. Walsall is a shadow of it’s former self.

I used to ride down the Broadway, a wide road (as the name suggests) with a 40 MPH speed limit. Now it’s a wide road with a 30 MPH speed limit, speed cameras and a sign that reads your number plate and tells you to slow down. There are always traffic jams and impatient drivers. There are signs that call it the ‘ring road’. When I first saw those, I thought ‘what ring road?’. A lot of the town centre is now pedestrianized and the streets are a maze that you can’t find your way around even with a sat nav. Walsall also has speed humps on many streets and when they aren’t wasting money on those, they block the ends of streets off.

I remember the arboretum when they had the illuminations in September, that was the highlight of the year. They started making them too fancy though with lasers and so they got too expensive. So the lights went out in Walsall. They have found millions to do some renovations on the arboretum though. I must go and take a look one of the days.

One road I am now familiar with in Walsall is the Birmingham road that runs to Great Barr and that complicated motorway junction. It seems the speed cameras did good business on that road last year. Half the speeding tickets issued in the West Midlands were on that road. Yes, they got me. The adjacent road is the West Bromwich Road, with a 40 speed limit. On the Birmingham road, which is dual carriageway just the same, those little signs say 30! I was caught on the approach to that flyover thing where the motorway is. I was well away from the little sign, passing a truck at 40. I had no chance of seeing a 30 sign. They could put a 30 sign on the speed camera; I saw that, but thought the limit was 40. Besides the fine, people who are tricked like this get points on their licence, which could potentially cost them their business or their job. This could contribute to Walsall being part of the deprived area we call the Black Country.

On a positive note, Merrion’s Wood is on that road and worth visiting. I used to go to Sutton Park, but they have a 30 limit on the Sutton Road now. Only the wide dual carriageway bit, the limit goes to 40 on the narrow part closer to Sutton.

There’s a family fun day at the University campus on the Broadway on Saturday. I’m expecting traffic jams near junction 9 of the M6. It might be worth going to. I want to see the Performance Hub. Come early, I think it’s only on from 10 until 2.

The council have plans for Junction 10 of the M6 because it gets really busy. They’re going to turn it into a ‘hamburger junction’, so it’ll be even more confusing than it is now. They could encourage some traffic to go down the Birmingham Road, by making it 40 and getting rid of the bloody speed cameras. The traffic for the M6 would go that way instead then…

Is Walsall amazing or is it just a maze? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. The art gallery is worth visiting, that is also a maze…

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5 responses

  1. Walsall – Ruined by clueless council chiefs. The Aboretum is costing millions yet has taken three years already to renovate. Latest is the visitor centre which is being built in the furthermost part of the park. Surely it whould be near the enterance?

    15, May 2013 at 11:55 pm

    • Hi Nick,

      That entrance to the arboretum is nice, but the road there is a bloody nightmare. I went to the extension to see that vehicle show last year, at least there is parking there, but it’s too far from the best bits of the park. I was trying to figure out the parking at the art gallery, that isn’t easy for visitors either. Sandwell is the same, if the councillors brains were dynamite they couldn’t blow the civic centre up… Don’t even get me started on the traffic lights in Darlo…

      They say the average speed of traffic around here is 15 MPH. That must include the M6 and M5 in the early hours. When I’m out the traffic crawls and stops at traffic lights every 2 minutes.

      16, May 2013 at 10:42 am

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