Amos Lane Must Be Made Safer!

There has been a long campaign to make Amos Lane safer for pedestrians wishing to cross the Lane, to get from the Bellamy Lane Junction with Amos Lane to Woden Ave, and onwards to the school, the Playing Fields and the Village. Recently other residents have also been complaining about what they see as the increase in HGV, and the dangers that they cause to the Lane’s carriageway and road surface.

Here is the latest response I have received from Highway Officials at the City Council. Perhaps you can read the comments, share the article, and comment on your thoughts?

“Dear Councillor Bateman,

Pedestrian Counts were undertaken on Amos Lane, in the vicinity of Bellamy Lane, in 2019 prior to the pandemic, in response to requests from residents and Councillors for pedestrian crossing facilities. The surveys undertaken were split into 4 zones to fully assess crossing movements either side of the junction with Bellamy Lane. The zones covered an area of Amos Lane 50 metres either side of the junction for a full 12 hour day time period.

In order to justify installing a pedestrian facility we use the nationally recognised methodology of calculating the PV² value (number of pedestrians crossing the road multiplied by the number of two-way vehicles passing the location, squared). The criteria stipulates that this value should reach at least 0.2×10⁸ (20 million) when combining the busiest four 15 minute periods from the 12 hour results. The results from the 2019 survey on Amos Lane (all four zones combined) only reached 0.1×10⁸ (10 million). The four zone approach was extremely generous as we usually survey only 25 metres either side of a requested crossing location which is based on the distance pedestrians are prepared to divert from their ideal route to use a crossing facility. So we tried to give the location the best possible chance to meet the criteria.

I have also interrogated the West Midlands Personal Injury Accident database to ascertain whether there have been any pedestrian casualties on this section of Amos Lane in the last 5 years and can report that there have been no incidents resulting in injury to pedestrians during that time period.

We also commissioned speed surveys on Amos Lane in 2018 and these showed that both five day and seven day 85th percentile speeds were 30mph, which raised no cause for concern at the time as this suggests the vast majority of drivers are travelling at appropriate speeds. Obviously I appreciate that these surveys were four years ago and so I will ask my team to commission new surveys to see if there has been any change in overall speeds since then and consider whether we need to take any interventions.

As you will be aware, our Road Safety budgets are limited and so we must target our resources to those locations with the highest risks based on statistical evidence. In this case we would not currently be able to justify adding the request for a formal pedestrian crossing to our future schemes list in the 2022/23 Transportation Capital Programme.

I have also considered the possibility of introducing a central refuge on Amos Lane near to Bellamy Lane to assist pedestrians to cross Amos Lane as an alternative to a formal crossing; however the width of the carriageway precludes this as it would not leave sufficient width of running lane for vehicles to progress either side of the refuge. Consequently this is not an option I could consider.

I will however ask my team to investigate the feasibility of installing “pedestrians crossing” warning signs on the approaches to the Amos Lane/Bellamy Lane junction to warn motorists that there may be pedestrians crossing the road.

My team have also recently received a request for a formal crossing near to the junction of Amos Lane and Woden Avenue to assist parents and children on their way to and from Wodensfield Primary School. My team are also currently investigating this request and will advise as to whether a School Crossing Patrol site is justifiable in due course.

Amos Lane is classified as a “Significant Local Route” on Wolverhampton’s Strategic Highway network which makes it an important connective route on our network. It is therefore expected to carry all types of vehicles including HGV’s. We will however review the data in the new speed surveys as the data identifies vehicles by classification. We will therefore be able to ascertain whether there has been a significant increase in the number of HGV’s using Amos Lane since the previous surveys in 2018.

I hope the above is helpful in showing that the Traffic and Road Safety Team have investigated the request for a crossing at Amos Lane/Bellamy Lane and why we are currently unable to add this to our list of future schemes at this time. We will of course keep an open mind to future requests and the possibility that circumstances can change. We will therefore commit to keeping the situation under review.”

Councillor Bateman added “This is not the end of this issue. I am convinced we must make Amos Lane safer, and that really does mean altering its appearance, its current safety regime, and enhance the message to drivers using the route.”

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