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Black Country Regeneration

Black Country Regeneration

The transport section of the project concluded that the current public transport network concentrates almost solely on the traditional town centre locations in the Black Country, while relatively new employment areas in out-of-town locations are not being adequately served. This effectively promotes car dependency and reducesg the relative viability of non-car alternatives.

Transport problems in the Black Country are primarily land use problems. This is largely due to trip-attracting uses such as retail, employment and leisure continuing to be developed in locations with poor public transport accessibility, contrary to national policy guidance that has been in place since 1994. (Planning Policy Guidance 13 - see

Even developments that are close to established centres are often poorly related to those centres, thus undermining the intentions of the "sequential test" or "town centre first" policy, established to ensure efficient and sustainable forms of development. The outcome of these trends is likely to be increased social exclusion (services, including major facilities like Merry Hill, are less accessible to those without a car) and environmental degradation, and poorer economic prospects for traditional centres, as well as the continued use of the car as primary mode of travel, and the associated problems such as congestion, high emissions and pollution.

Client(s)Black Country Consortium
Team(s)Tim Pharoah with Llewelyn Davies Yeang


Regeneration, land use planning, car-based planning, car-oriented planning, car dependency, town centre decline, public transport planning, land use transport, Black Country, Brierley Hill, Merry Hill, out-of-town, retail park, Willenhall, Wednesfield

images (6)

Failing traditional centres are a problem in the Black Country, especially those trying to cope with major out-of-town facilities such as Brierley Hill (2006)
Driver are almost invited to abandon the old Brierley Hill in favour of the vast Merry Hill out of town facility - Brieley Hill, 2006
There is trouble with excessive reliance on cars in the Black Country - but help may not be easy to find (spotted in car park, Brierley Hill, 2006)
A major supermarket within site of the traditional centre (around the church) but poorly connected to it. Wednesfield, 2006
A retail park, separated from town centre and bus stops by large car parks and access roads. Not a place to linger. Wednesfield, 2006
Traditional centres may have attractive features, but are dominated by traffic and traffic architecture. Willenhall, 2006 (unchanged in 2011)

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