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Boffins come up with new plan to cut traffic at Birchley Island
8:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
BOFFINS have come up with a £13 million plan to reduce traffic at an Oldbury blackspot Birchley Island.
Sandwell Council are planning to improve the island near junction two of the M5, which is used by over 600,000 motorists a week, by building a road straight through the roundabout.
A public consultation could be held as early as the autumn and if given the go-ahead work will begin in 2015 and last 24 months.
Sandwell Council have applied to the Black Country Transport for the money needed for the giant infrastucture project.
In a report to the cabinet member for jobs and economy Councillor Ian Jones, Nick Bubalo, area director for regeneration and the economy, detailed the plans.
He said: “Several options for the improvement of Birchley Island and junction two have been identified and include the widening of all approaches to Birchley Island, widening to four lanes of both sides of the joining link road.
“The addition of a ‘through roundabout’ along the line of the A4123 in both directions, the addition of a ‘through roundabout’ from the J2 link road to the A4123 and A4034 away from the motorway only.”
Another option is the replacement of the roundabout with two linked signal-controlled crossroads, however, the prospect of a new underpass or flyover is dead in the water.
Mr Bubalo said: “A flyover or underpass along the line of the A4123 has also been investigated. “However major construction difficulties, particularly relating to an underpass, and the amount of land required would lead to an extremely expensive scheme that would almost certainly be unaffordable, even in the longer term.”
The public consultation will include a leaflet distribution, signs at the junction advising motorists of the proposals and an exhibition of the plans.
The emergency services, public transport operators, local schools, businesses, traders and their representative organisations, tenants and residents groups will also be informed.
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