FOOTPATHS along the A456 in Halesowen look set to be widened, along with other improvements, thanks to government funding to help people walk and cycle safely.

Dudley Council is proposing the scheme to widen footways and improve pedestrian crossings along the A456 Manor Way, which will allow for shared use between cyclists and pedestrians, on both sides of the road.

There are also plans to improve traffic signals and a drop in the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph.

It is one of two proposals being delivered under the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund The other is a cycle path from Burnt Tree to Tipton Road, in Dudley, centred around the future Metro stop.

During the Coronavirus pandemic there has been a large increase in the level of walking and cycling across the UK.

The Active Travel Fund has been made available to help create measures that will enable people to cycle or walk more safely.

A consultation started yesterday (Monday) with local people asked to share their views on the schemes.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services said: "These proposals will allow us to further encourage people to undertake more of their journeys on foot or by bike, with immediate health benefits to them as individuals, but also hopefully helping to take more vehicles off our roads, improving air quality and traffic flow.

"I hope people take the time to take part in the consultation which launched on 22 February and runs for four weeks."

Halesowen News:

A key element of the A456 scheme will be a new signalised crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, roughly between the access road to Halesowen Athletics and Cycling Club and the residential area to the north of the A456.

The widened footways will run from this new crossing, to the junction with Manor Lane.

At the junction with Manor Lane, the current traffic signals will be upgraded, and will have additional pedestrian facilities incorporated within them, so that it is clear to pedestrians at which point they are to cross the roads.

These crossing points will allow safer access to and from bus stops on the westbound carriageway, and the network of public footpaths that link to the countryside to the south

Along the route, space currently used by bus stops within laybys will be reallocated to the footway, and following completion of the footway, buses will be required to stop on the road, rather than pulling into the layby to pick-up and drop-off passengers.

The measures will also be supported by a reduction in the speed limit along this stretch from 50mph to 40mph, to further improve safety along the route.

There are aspirations for this section of road to be tied into a wider stretch of cycle route heading towards the M5 roundabout and linking into the Woodgate Valley area of Birmingham, and this project forms an important first phase of that wider strategic route.

For more information about the schemes and consultation questions visit