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Gailey Freight Hub: Lorry every 15 SECONDS at West Midlands Interchange

By Rob Golledge | South Staffordshire | Transport | Published:

Up to 9,000 lorries, cars and vans will travel to and from the proposed 700-acre interchange every day.

Four Ashes, where the West Midlands Interchange rail freight hub would be built

A lorry will enter or leave a proposed super rail freight hub every 15 seconds once fully running, it can today be revealed.

Up to 9,000 lorries, cars and vans will travel to and from the 700-acre West Midlands Interchange at Gailey every day by 2035, according to plans.

While bosses behind the huge multi-million pound project admit there will be more traffic on the roads, they claim delays for motorists will be ‘minimal’.

Developer Four Ashes Ltd is proposing to build a new public road through the site from a new roundabout on the A5 near Gailey Roundhouse and Marina to another new roundabout on A449 south of the Gailey Island.

A map showing the proposed hub next to the M6, A5 and A449

The scheme promises to create 8,500 jobs and boost the region’s economy by £417m each year with 743,200 square metres of warehousing serving up to 10 freight trains a day.

It will be around a third bigger than the entire i54 business park near Wolverhampton.

Managing director Peter Frost said: “There will be more traffic because of the project – we are very honest about that.

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“But independent studies by Highways England have shown the roads can cope, the capacity exists, and that by creating our own new road there are some net gains for motorists at Gailey Island and Station Drive for access between the A449 and A5.”

Once fully operating there will be in the region of 6,000 cars or vans, mainly employees, entering and leaving the site over 24 hours, equating to 12,000 journeys a day, according to the project’s travel assessment.

There will also be more than 3,000 lorries going to and from the site each day – equal to 6,318 journeys over 24 hours. It amounts to a lorry entering or leaving the site every 15 seconds on average at peak or 260 journeys an hour.

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The Stop the Gailey Freight Hub group has opposed the plans

Around 1,000 extra vehicles – between 622 and 738 cars and vans, plus 300 lorries – are expected to enter and leave the site at morning and evening rush hours.

Traffic will be spread across three entrance and exit points to the site, located off the A5, off the A449, and at Vicarage Road in Four Ashes.

Most of the HGV traffic is expected to travel to and from the site between the A5 entrance/exit and junction 12 of the M6, which is is just shy of a mile.

However, the report says the extra traffic will lead to a maximum delay of 59 seconds on some journeys – but the new road could cut 19 seconds off others.

Mr Frost said: “There will be additional traffic, particularly from the M6 junction and the new roundabout on the A5. We have been clear about that.

“There is capacity on the roads. It is a hard argument to get across. The roads are busy around there because of existing pinch points. We hope people will look at that and start to see from a highways point of view it is a sensible and thought out scheme with benefits – but I understand it is a sensitive issue.”

A second consultation on the project was launched this week. It is hoped a planning application will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate later this year.

If approved by Government inspectors, work could start in 2020.

Rob Golledge

By Rob Golledge
@golledge_star

Part of the Express & Star special projects team responsible for investigations and major stories from politics to counter terrorism

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