Flyover plan will leave 'lasting headache', MP claims
The controversial move to tear down the Perry Barr flyover will leave "a lasting headache" for people in parts of the Black Country, an MP has claimed.
Aldridge-Brownhills MP Wendy Morton has slammed the £27 million scheme to demolish the flyover on the A34, which takes drivers from Walsall and Great Barr into Birmingham city centre.
It has been backed by Birmingham Council despite mass public opposition, with bosses insisting that the flyover must go in order to prepare for the Commonwealth Games and a new housing development in Perry Barr.
Tory MP Mrs Morton has accused the council of squandering taxpayers money on the "reckless" scheme, which she said would be "detrimental to a large number of residents across Aldridge and Streetly".
"The council has shown a blatant disregard for their own technical report which highlights that their proposal to remove the flyover would actually make traffic flow worse, not to mention the disruption it is going to cause everyone concerned," she added.
“Whilst we all welcome the fact that the West Midlands is hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and everyone realises that construction work will have to be undertaken, I have always believed that the Games should leave a lasting legacy for our region, but sadly the decision taken by Birmingham City Council will only leave a lasting headache for a large number of residents across my Aldridge-Brownhills constituency.
“Birmingham City Council’s decision is a scandalous waste of taxpayers money, it is environmentally irresponsible and flies in the face of the views of residents and I urge them to reconsider their decision."
Council bosses are preparing to back a plan to bulldoze the flyover in favour of putting all traffic onto a ground-level dual carriageway.
This is despite a petition against the proposals garnering more than 15,000 signatures, and four in five respondents to a consultation opposing it.
The majority of those who are against the flyover's demolition say it will lead to traffic gridlock, with work set to run until 2021 and existing roads not big enough to cope with the congestion.
Birmingham Council leader Ian Ward said the flyover needs to go so the council can put in a cycle lane along the A34 as far as the One Stop shopping centre, as well as allowing for a Sprint bus stop at the Games athletes' village.
He added that if the flyover stayed in place motorists would be "driving right past people’s windows" when the new homes were built, meaning the new estate would not be "a great place to live".
"There are a whole host of reasons why it makes sense to take the flyover down," he added.
A final decision on the scheme is due on October 21.