Dudley beats Birmingham for happy drivers
It’s happy motoring in the Black Country and Shropshire – but Birmingham motorists are being driven to despair, according to a new survey out today.
Cheap parking saw Dudley and West Bromwich named among the UK’s ten most car-friendly places.
But the poll said drivers in Birmingham were often on the road to nowhere, with problems finding somewhere to park leaving the city ranked among the UK’s worst locations for motorists.
Only Cardiff and London came out worse in the Virgin Money poll.
But Telford got top marks for such things as petrol prices, parking costs and speed cameras.
No comment on the poll’s findings was immediately available from Birmingham City Council.
Officials in Dudley, which came ninth, and West Bromwich, which was ranked tenth, spoke of their pleasure at the results. Dudley’s transport boss, Coun Angus Adams, said his town offered motorists value for money.
“We’re delighted other people recognise the value for money we give in Dudley,” he said.
“Our car parks are charter marked and we really do care about the motorist, which is why we have kept our short-term parking charges so low.”
Sandwell’s councillor for regeneration and transport, Bob Badham, welcomed the praise for West Bromwich, where work on a £25 million jam-busting All Saints underpass, beneath the A41/A4031 roundabout, is due to begin in January next year.
He said: “The car parking is reasonably priced and the provision of car parking around the town has always been good. And we’re working very hard to improve the transport infrastructure around West Bromwich, like the new All Saints underpass, to keep traffic flowing.”
At the other end of the scale, London was named the country’s least car friendly city.
Virgin Money spokesman Grant Bather said: “The UK’s 24 million motorists are often driven to distraction by the frustrations of driving with parking problems, petrol prices and speeding tickets among the biggest issues.
“But not all towns and cities are the same and many local authorities do their best to ensure drivers aren’t treated like second-class citizens.”
Meanwhile, rail safety teams say a level crossing in Oldbury is one of the most dangerous in the West Midlands.
Network Rail has highlighted Langley Green is one of the 25 worst level crossings in the region in it’s Level Crossings – don’t run the risk, campaign.
There have been seven recorded incidents over the past year and there are thought to have been many more.
Last year CCTV cameras captured a number of youths climbing over the barriers and a car swerving round the barrier and being clipped by the barrier on the far side. In all these incidents people put their lives on the line to save a few minutes.