Businesses welcome 'hamburger' island plan for Oldbury junction
Plans to ease congestion on one of the Black Country's busiest routes by building a 'hamburger' island have been welcomed.
The Birchley Island in Oldbury is next to junction two of the M5 and is used by more than 92,000 motorists a day. The section of road has long been a known chokepoint in the region which has caused many delays to local companies.
Sandwell Council's initial proposals for a £13 million road improvement would see a road driven directly through the roundabout to ease congestion, making it a 'hamburger' island.
David Manners, managing director of David Manners group, has been selling British car parts from his multi-million business on the Birchley Island for the last 23 years.
He said: "There has been a lot of dreadful accidents on this stretch of road and during the morning and evening rush hour the highways are completely congested."
He added: "I'm for any kind of infrastructure improvements that will help bring jobs and new business to the Black Country. It's what we need to help the UK's recovery.
"I don't mind what they decide to do as long as it helps ease congestion at the island."
It was recently revealed in a report that Sandwell Council were also considering removing the island to make way for a managed junction similar to that already in operation up the road on the former site of the Burn Tree Island.
Martyn Richardson, Managing Director of developers the Richardson group has been behind some of the largest projects in the region including the Merry Hill shopping centre, and has his headquarters based on the island.
He said: "Anything that improves the situation is welcomed by us and as long they consult local businesses it won't be a problem. I'm all for new infrastructure improvements and this island has a congestion problem that affects businesses."
He said recent improvements that include new trees and a sign had improved the look of the island, which is seen as the gateway to the region, but added it would be a shame to see all the money spent go to waste.
The work is expected to take two years, although funding is still yet to be secured despite a request for money from Black Country Strategic Transport.
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