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Blocking of popular Kidderminster cut-through 'causing chaos'
Buy this photo » Fears: Howard Martin and Kim Guest on Dudley Street. Buy this photo 471235L at kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/pictures or by calling 01562 633333.
DRIVERS in Kidderminster have been left scratching their heads after finding their route blocked – by a wall.
The structure was built to stop traffic using Kwik Fit’s car park as a cut-through from Blackwell Street to Churchfields.
But it has caused traffic chaos with neighbouring traders fearing for pedestrians’ lives and their properties.
The route is not a public right of way but has been regularly used by lorry drivers unloading for shops on Blackwell Street.
They are now struggling to reverse or turn around when they come up against the obstruction.
Breakdown vehicles and cars have also been caught out, some directed by their satellite navigation systems.
A Kwik Fit spokesman said traffic cutting through its car park had caused an “unnecessary risk” to the safety of its customers and so bosses had erected the barrier during a refurbishment of the motor repair centre.
Kim Guest, who owns K&N Cheque Cashers on Dudley Street, said her shop sign had been knocked down twice and she feared a vehicle will smash through her front window.
Other incidents have included a car driving over the footpath by the Peacock pub to rejoin Blackwell Street and pub-goers having to come to the rescue of a driver who was struggling to turn around his van which was towing a broken-down car.
A Mega Bites Cafe spokesman said a “no through-road” sign should be put up to end the confusion.
But Ms Guest believed the wall should be taken down and said: “Someone is going to get killed.
“My fear is I am going to have a car or lorry come through my window – it is an accident waiting to happen and when people are parked here it is just mayhem.
“If a child had been walking when that car drove over the footpath, he would have had it.”
It is understood Kwik Fit needed to apply for planning permission for the erection of the new wall, but failed to do so.
A Wyre Forest District Council spokesman said it was aware of the situation and was working to resolve it.
The Kwik Fit spokesman added the company would work with the district council to resolve the issue, explaining: “Our advice led us to believe changes would not require planning permission.”
Labour’s Howard Martin, Broadwaters ward district councillor, said he sympathised with Kwik Fit but thought it had “gone about it in the wrong way”.
“Nobody is disputing you have to go through Kwik Fit’s drive but the bottom line is the wall is dangerous and, having not applied for planning permission, nobody has been consulted,” he added.