Bridges over rail line to be rebuilt

At a meeting dated 18 December 2013, Network Rail has identified four local bridges that will need to be rebuilt in order to accommodate the proposed electrification of the main line running through Barnt Green.

The bridges concerned are:

Bridge 109 – Linthurst Newtown over bridge
Reconstruction of this bridge will involve closure of the road. Owing to height, weight and width restrictions on other roads in the area the diversion is likely to be lengthy using Saint Catherine’s Road, Linthurst Road, Fiery Hill Road and Hewell Lane. The new bridge will be one lane wide and, because the bridge deck will be higher, the approach from Blackwell may need modification to ensure that on-coming traffic is sufficiently visible.

Bridge 110 – Greens Occupation Bridge (access from Blackwell Road to farmland and private residence)
Although not a public highway bridge, it does carry a public right of way that will need a temporary closure or diversion. The bridge provides access to farmland and a private residence. Network Rail may provide an alterative access bridge whilst the permanent access is rebuilt but no commitment has been made to this as yet.

Bridge 111 – Rocky Lane / Hewell Lane over bridge
This bridge, close to the centre of Barnt Green will be closed for approximately six months from May/June 2015. The road width and layout will remain the same after the works have been completed and existing abutments will be maintained. The appearance of the bridge will be unaltered.Because the considerable overnight and weekend work will generate noise, light and dust issues, the Parish Council has recommended that, at key points during the work, Network Rail offer residents who are seriously inconvenienced temporary hotel accommodation.
A public engagement campaign will also take place and a detailed programme of works will also be made available nearer the time.
The diversion route will be by Fiery Hill Road and back to Hewell Road. Foot access to the railway station from Hewell Lane will be maintained throughout.

Bridge 111A – Barnt Green station footbridge
The new footbridge will be a Network Rail standard pedestrian bridge with solid sides measuring 1.8m to provide necessary protection. The existing footbridge will not be removed until the new bridge has been built.
The plans for the new bridge do not currently include stairs to platform 4 (for Redditch trains). The Parish Council has made representations to Network Rail indicating that this should be reviewed as passengers crossing the bridge ought not to have to exit the station and re-enter in order to access this platform.
The Parish Council have also indicated that if the bridge is to be replaced then lifts should also be provided in order to make the station fully accessible. The County Council has agreed to raise this issue with the Department of Transport.

The Parish Council will release further information as it becomes available.

Community walk a great success

On Saturday 28 September nearly 200 walkers of all ages turned out to support the Barnt Green community walk and pig roast organised by Barnt Green Parish Council.

There were 4 guided walks, varying in length from 6.5 miles to 2.5 miles, which passed many local beauty spots including the Worcester and Birmingham canal, Upper and Lower Bittell Reservoirs, Cofton Church, Lickey Visitors Centre and woods.

The walks celebrated the recent agreement with Worcestershire County Council to sign and promote a new footpath called The Barnt Green Circular.

Amanda Hill, Worcestershire Countryside Volunteers Officer, led a very well supported walk from Barnt Green to Upper Bittell reservoir. After the walk, Amanda commented:

I am delighted with the new Barnt Green Circular Walk. In the next few weeks, the County Council will publish the route and erect signage along the footpath to enable walkers throughout the county, and beyond, to enjoy the beautiful and varied countryside surrounding Barnt Green.

Charles Hotham, Vice-Chair of Barnt Green Parish Council, indicated that he had been delighted with the turnout which had been helped by perfect weather and the promise of a pig roast organised by local Barnt Green butcher, Warwick, and the village off-licence, Vinalia.

The event also provided an opportunity to highlight the work of Worcestershire Countryside Volunteers who help to maintain and improve pathways throughout the county. If you are interested in helping with this work please contact Amanda Hill at AHill3@worcestershire.gov.uk.

Community walk and pig roast

On Saturday 28 September you are invited to participate in the Barnt Green community walk and pig roast. You can choose from four guided walks varying from 6.5 miles to 2.5 miles.

The walks will start and finish at the Friends’ Meeting House in Sandhills Road, Barnt Green and take in many local beauty spots including the Worcester and Birmingham canal, Upper and Lower Bittell Reservoirs, Cofton Church, Lickey Visitors Centre and woods. Children are very welcome (there will be a trail quiz) but, if under 16, should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

All the walks should arrive back at the Friends’ Meeting House at about 5:30pm in time for a pig roast in Millennium Park. Individuals and families are invited to just come along on the day and join in. The timetable is:

From 1:30pm     Local walks exhibition in the Friends’ Meeting House.

2:00pmWalk 1 (6.5 miles) leaves Barnt Green for Withybed Green, the Worcester and Birmingham canal, Bittell reservoirs, Cofton Church, Lickey Woods and Visitors Centre returning to Barnt Green.

3:00pm: Walk 2 (5 miles) leaves Barnt Green for Withybed Green, the Worcester and Birmingham canal, Bittell reservoirs returning to Barnt Green.

3:30pm: Walk 3 (4 miles) leaves Barnt Green for Cofton Church, Lickey Woods and Visitors Centre returning to Barnt Green.

4:00pm: Walk 4 (2.5 miles) leaves Barnt Green for Bittell reservoir returning to Barnt Green.

5:30pm: Pig Roast (finishing at 7.30pm).

Development of Fiery Hill Road

In May 2013, Banner Homes submitted a new full application for 88 dwellings on Fiery Hill Road.

The Parish Council, while acknowledging that some development is inevitable given the existing outline planning permission granted in July 2012, argues that the number of dwellings should be limited to approximately 50.

Read the Parish Council response in full.