£63m Selly Oak relief road blasted by residents
Residents have claimed a £63 million road in south Birmingham designed to ease congestion will be a “total waste of money” and lead to more traffic chaos.
Birmingham City Council is overseeing the building a single lane link road for the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital which opens in October 2011.
But homeowners claim a dual carriageway is needed to cope with traffic, otherwise the area in Selly Oak will become a series of rat runs for motorists.
Retired orthopaedic surgeon Dick Rodgers, of Northfield, has collected a 1,200-signature petition. He said: “A single lane road will not be adequate to contain that level of traffic and I’m concerned it’s ill-conceived and must be changed.
“We don’t believe it will be fit for purpose and we don’t want to be in a position where it needs to be changed at a later date. This road will cause difficulties for residents and we will still live in a rat run, there’s no way it will decongest the area.”
The new hospital will be an amalgamation of Selly Oak Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Edgbaston. The Selly Oak New Road will be built to serve it and works to be carried out include a road from Harborne Lane to Bournbrook and a new roundabout at Selly Oak New Road/Hospital Link Road.
It is designed to be an alternative route for traffic not using the Bristol Road.
Transportation and Street Services Overview and Scrutiny vice-chairman Coun Tim Huxtable said: “Our officials and experts will go back and have a look at whether the original forecast of a single lane is still relevant and accurate. It would be wrong for politicians to go on a gut feeling on this – we must base our decisions on facts.
“However, if it’s decided we should have a double lane it will delay things because we would have to redesign it, buy new land and there would be additional cost.”
But a Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “Transportation planners have obviously looked at all the relevant facts and come to the conclusion that a single carriageway is sufficient for the anticipated volume of traffic.
“Our research shows a dual carriageway would be unnecessary. But we will of course look at any concerns raised by this petition.”
Birmingham City Council stepped in with an emergency £18 million loan for the scheme back in March to fund preparatory work for phase two.