A road system to reduce congestion in Sandwell has won a national award.
The red route scheme, entitled The Route 87 Pilot Smart Route Scheme, won the Congestion Reduction Scheme of the Year Award in the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards.
The aim of the 10km red route is to reduce journey times and improve bus, pedestrian and parking facilities. It was put in place by Sandwell Council, Dudley Council and Centro, the region’s transport authority.
The red route runs through Tividale, Oldbury, Smethwick and then into Birmingham, and passes through residential, retail and industrial areas, which have previously suffered from heavy congestion, poor pedestrian facilities, sub-standard bus facilities, slow journey times and poor bus punctuality.
Measures on the route include improvements to junctions, new off street parking facilities and better bus stops. It is hoped the changes will also lead to less accidents and less illegal parking in the areas.
Sandwell Council cabinet member for neighbourhood services Cllr Derek Rowley said: “The council initiated and led on this scheme which was aimed at reducing journey times and improving bus, pedestrian and parking facilities.
“It was judged against national competition for the award and I am delighted that we won.”
Andrew Middleton, Centro’s senior responsible officer for Smart Routes, said: “The scheme was in a very strong category with other nominations including a number of high profile highways projects from around the country.
“The success is testament to the effective partnership working which took place between Centro, Sandwell Council, Dudley Council and operators.”