Hundreds of extra lorries each day feared in Solihull for HS2

Hundreds of extra lorries each day feared in Solihull for HS2

Up to 400 construction vehicles will be using a Solihull road each day once work on HS2 has started, residents have been told.

The volume of traffic expected to be travelling along Hall Meadow Road, in Balsall Common, was revealed at this week’s meeting of the council’s HS2 Implementation Advisory Group.

Local people have mounting concerns about intense activity on the transport network when work gets underway, amid suggestions that roads are already heavily congested.

Hall Meadow Road, in Balsall Common.

Contractors have said that taking vehicles along Hall Meadow Road would significantly reduce the use of the A452, through the village, as a delivery route.

Tony Dicicco, cabinet member for the environment and housing and a ward councillor, said there was “a big challenge” for the local area and the community expected help from HS2 to deal with the issues that arose.

“In Meriden ward, we are going to face immense disruption from this construction and we want to see some assurances that you are going to do all you can,” he said.

“Both to minimise that disruption and also not to unduly affect us from an environmental standpoint.

“I am very concerned about air quality, of 300-400 trucks coming down Hall Meadow Road and the effect that’s going to have.

“I want to make sure that’s monitored and there’s no detrimental effect on local residents and if there is I expect to see something done about it, because I don’t think it’s fair on local residents.”

Sheila Cooper, who lives in Berkswell, had concerns about the impact on the local community and day-to-day lives.

“You’ve got people trying to take children to and from school, from Berkswell to Balsall, Balsall to Berkswell, over the narrow West Coast Main Line.

“Then you’ve got your traffic island at Station Road, you’ve got access to the doctor’s surgery, you’ve got your school journeys I’ve just mentioned, access to the station and the shopping centre.

“And you’re still going to be using the A452 and Hall Meadow Road?”

Andy DeBell, from HS2 contractors Balfour Beatty Vince, said: “We live in a very busy and congested area, the roads in the area are busy and we will be bringing traffic to those roads.

“And we will be looking at our traffic planning to best minimise those impacts.

“But it is an unavoidable fact that we have busy highways, and we’ve got to work out the best way of operating on those busy roads.”

He confirmed that a planning application to make changes to Hall Meadow Road, to help accommodate the proposals, is set to be submitted to Solihull Council next year.

Parking and pedestrian access will be among the “detailed considerations.”

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