New-Ring-Road

March 27th - Not a great photo, but the light was terrible as I headed home. This curious matt-brown box with a bright white light on top puzzles many folk heading east towards Chuckery on the New Ring Road in Walsall, just by Queen Mary’s School. It’s an environmental monitoring pod which takes climatic and and air quality measurements, and logs them. It features a host of sensors - the white light is a particulate analyser, shining light through the air and measuring the floating contaminants. There will be wind, temperature, humidity, and various chemical sensors humming away in what is actually a vehicle trailer. The triangular cowl on the front is covering the towing hitch.

This is a fairly expensive piece of kit, being used to tell us what anyone in Walsall already knows; the air quality here is terrible - particularly next to a badly designed junction where traffic is often static.

No shit, Sherlock.

February 13th - I see the new offices for Walsall Housing Group - the hived-off housing association that owns almost all of Walsall Council’s former social housing stock - are nearly finished. This inelegant, six and a half million pound edifice has undergone a protracted construction; the glass units forming the frontage were faulty and fogged up soon after placement, the manufacture being faulty. It’s notable that some panels are still cloudy. This ill conceived building seems to be fully lit at night, presumably at no small expense, and is completely devoid of public transport support. This could be considered an oversight considering WHG’s tenant profile.

That money would have built a lot of decent homes.