Hundreds of Solihull villagers back petition about crumbling ‘shortcut’ road
Hundreds of residents have raised concerns about the poor condition of a popular cut-through in a Solihull village.
Malthouse Row in Marston Green is an “unadopted road”, which means that the council’s highways team is not responsible for its upkeep.
However, the arrival of new housing estates means that the byway is an increasingly common route for people travelling to the local schools and main shopping parade.
A total of 468 residents put their names to a petition, asking if the council was able to offer some advice on options for addressing the muddy, uneven surface.
Cllr Bob Sleigh (Con, Bickenhill), who had presented the petition to Full Council, said the clay soil often turned to mud in bad weather.
“It’s worst in the deepest parts of winter, when you have several inches of water,” he said this week. “Because it’s unadopted what I’m after really is some advice from the council.”
While he said the number of people walking was to be welcomed, housing developments at the likes of Wavers Marston meant that Malthouse Row had become more frequently used in recent years.
Over the summer, the wrangles around the route were raised at a meeting of Bickenhill and Marston Green Parish Council.
Paul Tovey, from Solihull Council’s highways team, understood the Land Registry had no record of who owns the stretch.
At the time, parish councillor Jonathan Horton said a property consultant had investigated and none of the residents had a covenant on their home which implied they should be responsible for maintenance.
Amid concerns that local people did not know “where to go from here”, it was agreed to make a formal request for help to Solihull Council.
Petitions tabled at Full Council, the bulk of which relate to highways issues, are investigated by officers and their findings are usually presented to the cabinet member within a few months.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) had asked the council press office how this particular request would be handled, in light of the road’s unadopted status.
A spokesman confirmed it is due to be discussed at the next environment and highways decision session on 19 November.