‘Ham­burger’ to cut con­ges­tion

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

A HUGE ‘ham­burger’-style round­about with a road through the mid­dle will cost Sandwell coun­cil tax pay­ers less than £3 mil­lion af­ter the bor­ough won the back­ing of ma­jor fun­ders.

The cost-sav­ing will mean the Birch­ley Is­land in Old­bury, ex­pected to be built for £26 mil­lion, will only cost lo­cals £2.6 mil­lion.

The new road scheme, next to Junc­tion 2 of the M5, aims to cut jams and im­prove traf­fic flow be­tween Sandwell, Dud­ley and Birm­ing­ham.

The cost of the lay­out, where the Wolver­hamp­ton Road will pass through the cur­rent is­land, will be shared with Black Coun­try Lo­cal En­ter­prise Part­ner­ship and the West Mid­lands Com­bined Au­thor­ity. The Black Coun­try LEP will con­trib­ute £16 mil­lion while the Com­bined Au­thor­ity pays £7.6 mil­lion.

Coun­cil­lor Steve Eling, leader of Sandwell Coun­cil, said: “Birch­ley Is­land is a very con­gested junc­tion which causes long de­lays and frus­tra­tion for thou­sands of lo­cal mo­torists.

“The new ham­burger sys­tem will im­prove the con­ges­tion prob­lems even though it will al­ways be a busy junc­tion and the im­prove­ments will have a pos­i­tive im­pact on bus ser­vices and for lo­cal mo­torists. It will also be good news for the many Black Coun­try busi­nesses who use the junc­tion to trans­port goods through the junc­tion onto the re­gional and na­tional net­works.”

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