Griffith Drive – Some Highway Improvements

Griffith Drive is the main circulatory route serving Ashmore Park. It is a key route for both HGV’s serving the local shopping Precincts and it is a major bus route for the City and other district centres. It provides penetration for personal travel for the estates residents, and It is heavily trafficked at certain times of the day.

It is also a source for concern at Local Police and Community Together meetings, because the highway is prone to be used for high speed activity. Especially outside peak hours.

Wednesfield North Councillors have been raising these issues over a long period of time, both with the Highways Engineers (Road Safety) and with Wednesfield Police team. Road Safety is a keenly debated issue amongst residents in Ashmore Park

Recently I have again pressed the City Council Highways team about instigating an audit of the highway. I am pleased to report that this has now been carried out. I am attaching the report I have received which whilst not fully covering off all the issues that have been raised, nevertheless does indicate some improvements will be made, with others earmarked for budget actions to come.

I am pleased that there is an understanding relating to highway maintenance issues now, though the repairs that will be required look to be significant. I am very pleased that there will be changes made to the signage, this will be flagged up as a ‘commitment’ which is progress indeed, and this will fall to be undertaken in this financial year.

The issues relating to personal injury and accidents is still an issue with me.

Whilst I understand what the City Officials say. This is a safety issue. And is very much an issue that residents feel strongly about. I have in previous correspondence with highways engineers questioned them on the relevance of the road safety measures currently in place on Griffith Drive. The Highways team remain committed to the fact that the existing traffic calming features remain appropriate. Plus the highway when measured against other highways locations in the City ‘performs adequately’. I am however pleased to note that there is some movement on this view by Officials in that  they have now agreed to look to see what opportunities can be made to  ‘make sensible changes to the traffic calming work when the maintenance work gets carried out in 2020 and 2021.’ That is indeed a very big step towards some changes taking place.

Here is what the correspondence I receive states-

Dear Councillor Bateman,I have now conducted a site visit with Alan Johnson, Highways Operations Manager to assess both maintenance and road safety issues on Griffiths Drive. 

Our observations were as follows: 

1.The carriageway surface dressing (top layer) has deteriorated in some locations; however the underlying structure of the road construction appears to be in generally good order. 

2.There is significant deformation of the surface material in most of the bus stops around Griffiths Drive.  This is likely to have been caused by the vibration of the bus when drivers overlay with their engines running to get back on schedule and will need significant reconstruction to resolve. 

Measures to address the above will require significant levels of repair and funding.  I have therefore asked Alan Johnson to include remedial works in his plans for the 2020/21 Capital Programme.  In the meantime, Alan has committed to carrying out some localised repairs at the worst locations, as soon as possible. 

3.It was also evident that some highway signage is in need of attention/replacement.  Alan will arrange for a full audit of signage to be undertaken around Griffiths Drive and take action to rectify as necessary during the 2019/20 financial year. 

4.Having visited Griffiths Drive, I have to agree with Adrian Dawson’s audit report that based on current recorded personal injury accident statistics (8 “slight” personal injury accidents in the last 5 years, as attached), and the current condition of the existing traffic calming features it is difficult to justify any major changes to the traffic calming when compared with other locations across the City.  We will however look to see if there are any opportunities to make sensible changes to the traffic calming when Alan carries out his maintenance works in 2020/21.” 

Finally, none of these changes will come about with out some significant changes in the highway being instigated. I fully expect that as the detail is made known new Traffic Regulation Orders may be instigated, and that may mean more Parking restrictions being introduced. But this is a matter for the medium term.

I will also tackle the Police about speed enforcement on Griffith Drive.

I know this response will not tick all the boxes for those residents that have a view on Griffith Drive. But it is substantial progress. I will continue to keep residents informed via my social media sites going forward.




Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more