Expect HS2 traffic chaos in Staffordshire to 'get worse', warns MP

Traffic chaos caused by long-running HS2 works is going to "get worse" when the main part of the project begins in earnest, an MP has warned.

HS2 works are causing chaos in parts of Staffordshire
HS2 works are causing chaos in parts of Staffordshire

In recent weeks road closures and diversions have been in place in villages around the A38 at Streethay, Lichfield, where a tunnel for the controversial line is being built.

And Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has warned that the situation is about to deteriorate further with major works about to kick into gear that will see both junctions closed for months on end.

The A38 is currently closed at Hilliard’s Cross on weekends until December 6, while the southbound slip road at Streethay is set to close for 14 months from January.

HS2 says it is in talks over laying on buses on alternative routes in a bid to mitigate the disruption.

Mr Fabricant said he was already hearing reports of major traffic delays on "inappropriate lanes" as drivers aim to find alternative routes when there are road closures.

He said: "The construction of HS2 and associated tunnelling by Lichfield continues to cause serious problems and this will only get worse when the project begins in earnest."

Mr Fabricant added he has contacted Staffordshire Police, the county council and HS2 calling for clear signage for diversion routes to avoid blockages.

David Speight, project client director of HS2, said: "Next year, subject to consents, we will need to close the southbound slip road at Streethay – but not the A38 itself – for up to 14 months.

"We are currently discussing the affected routes with Staffordshire bus and school bus services so that alternative bus routes are ready for when the southbound slip road closes.

"The current works should not affect school bus routes as these are night-time closures.

"When the alternative routes are due to start, local residents will be notified of the new arrangements by their school bus provider. We will also share details of the works with the community in advance."

Residents in nearby villages have been up in arms since the start of preparatory works, with concerns raised over drivers speeding along country lanes and other routes becoming gridlocked.

The budget-busting line passes through 45 miles of Staffordshire countryside on its way to the north west. It was scaled down last week after Boris Johnson downgraded the eastern leg between the West Midlands and Leeds.

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