Route chosen for new M6/M54 link road is 'worst possible option for environment'

The new link road between Wolverhampton and Cannock will destroy historic woodland and sit just 40 metres from residential homes, a parish councillor has complained.

The Secretary of State for Transport gave consent for the road between the M6's junction 11 and junction 1 of the M54 through the villages of Featherstone, Brinsford and Shareshill.

The £200 million infrastructure project, which will reduce congestion on local roads, includes the construction of the 1.6 mile road, redevelopment of Junction 11 and a realignment of Hilton Lane.

South Staffordshire Councillor for Hilton Paula Dawes told the Express and Star: "I am really disappointed the link road has been given consent. We all know something has to be done but of all the potential routes of the link road this is the one we did not want.

"This new dual-carriageway will be just 40 metres from homes in Hilton and in this time when we all know about the dangers of pollution there must have been a better way.

She added: "Under this route Darke Lane will become a dead end and so many lovely trees and ancient woodland will be destroyed."

The road will run through farmland which once belonged to Hilton Hall and includes woods, pools and a rookery which birds return to every year.

Councillor Dawes said: "I know the farmland is private, I've not been to the ancient woodland and pools since I was a little girl so it will be sad to see it disappear.

"The vast majority of people were against this route because of the loss of green belt land but it is a case of now trying to make the best of what has already has been decided. They do not know about the noise pollution that this dual-carriageway will cause and will not until it is built.

"We will continue to do everything we can to minimise the impact on the local environment."

Consent for the road was delayed and Councillor Dawes is awaiting a date for when construction starts.

She said: "We will face years of construction noise and in Hilton will be sandwiched between the building of the new road and the redevelopment of junction 11 of the M6, it will be awful."

Detailed plans by the Planning Inspectorate revealed the project will alleviate traffic on the A460, A449 and A5.

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