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No cash for Cradley facelift
8:30am Thursday 16th August 2012 in News
LACK of funding looks set to keep ambitious plans to transform one of the worst traffic and air polluted blackspots in the Dudley borough nailed firmly to the drawing board.
While the public are being asked to comment on the facelift drawn up for Cradley’s major thoroughfare of Colley Gate and Windmill Hill, a local councillor said investment in the short to medium term was unlikely.
Based on Cradley’s industrial past, the improvements would include murals on the sides of buildings, silhouette sculptures, a windmill, anvil-shaped seating, new bollards, cycle racks, replacement litter bins and refurbished guardrails.
There would also be tree planting at key locations along the busy route from Halesowen to Stourbridge, a non-slip attractive gravel finish to footways, new carriageway materials at junctions and crossing points and enhanced open space and walkways with steps, handrails and planting.
But Labour councillor Richard Body said there was no money for the “purely aspirational” plans and he is urging the council to tackle the congestion problem first.
He is pressing it to cough up around £30,000 to resurface the Labour Club car park in Windmill Hill so it can be used for public parking during the day in a bid to attract businesses to fill around a dozen empty shops.
“The car park is too worn as it is to be used by the general public, - the surface would break up in no time, but a small investment could help renew interest in the area.
“We have to do the basics first and then the aspirational stuff. Unless we change the highways and tackle the traffic problems and smog issues the other improvements will not make any difference.”
Cradley’s Conservative MP Margot James said it was vital to get as much response as possible to support a case for funding the scheme and for the council to know it was moving in the direction people wanted.
She added: “It’s very hard at the moment and although I do not foresee any change in that state of affairs, there is always money somewhere and Colley Gate is a very deserving area .”
Illustrative boards on the potential improvements are on display at Cradley Library until September 7, where people can fill in a consultation form.
The consultation can also be completed online at dudley.gov.uk or by calling Dudley Council on 01384 815428 before September 16.