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Oldbury roundabout puts Halesowen's to shame

First published in News

AN attractive Oldbury roundabout has been snapped up to feature in a national calendar showing off the best traffic islands.

And protester Tim Weller, who called on Dudley Council to spruce up Halesowen’s barren Grange Road roundabout, said the accolade put the local authority to shame.

Sandwell Council’s Birchley Island, appears snow-clad for December in the 2014 calendar produced by the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society.

But Mr Weller claimed the tarmaced Grange Road island would win the Worst Roundabout in Britain title.

Sandwell’s roundabouts are brilliant, really colourful. If they can do it then Dudley should be able to. This shows Dudley up – they should be ashamed, as ours is so dreadful,” he said.

Mr Weller, of nearby Hunnington Crescent, tried to embarrass the council into landscaping the island by placing his own small floral displays in the centre.

But they were hastily removed by red-faced council officials twice and Mr Weller’s offer to maintain a council-organised display has not been taken up.

The local authority claims lack of funds means the roundabout, which is a major gateway into Halesowen from the A456, must remain featureless.

But Sandwell Council – also hit by the austerity measures which have slashed millions of pounds from it budgets – is celebrating its calendar success.

Deputy leader Councillor Mahboob Hussain said: “We are pleased that a key gateway into Sandwell has been recognised by the society in their 2014 calendar.

"We have had a lot of positive feedback from local businesses, residents and visitors to the borough."

Kevin Beresford, president of the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society, who visited Sandwell to see the Birchley Island, said: "I am most impressed with other roundabouts in the borough. The quality of the design and layout is of a high standard.”

Oldbury neighbourhood manager Parmjit Sahota added: “Birchley Island is not only a key gateway into the borough welcoming about 500,000 vehicles per week, it is also home to a number of multi-national global companies that have offices or outlets around the island that employ thousands of employees.

"These include Toys R Us, AA, Centrica, Holiday Inn Express, Dunelm, Richardson’s Global HQ, McDonald’s, Marston’s and Halfords. Thus, the island's economic significance is often overlooked."

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