Councillors have called for urgent changes to the layout of a busy Walsall road to stop “congestion chaos” for motorists.
Paddock ward councillors Waheed Rasab, Rose Martin and Gurmeet Singh Sohal have set up a petition in support of installing average speed cameras along A34 Birmingham Road as well as opening up two lanes in both directions outside the Bell public house.
In early 2018, Walsall Council reduced the area of the dual carriageway between West Bromwich Albion’s training ground to the Broadway roundabout to a single lane in a bid to improve safety and cut the number of accidents occurring on the route.
But the councillors said the changes have merely created long delays for motorists, especially at rush hour.
The petition has attracted 300 signatures in just a few days and members have urged highways chiefs to revert to the old road layout.
Councillor Martin said: “This new layout is punishing hundreds of motorists because of a few that speed along it.
“As well as causing long delays it is having an impact on pollution levels in the area.
“I believe the council used a sledgehammer to crack a nut by doing this and I have long called for cameras to be placed on that road.
“If people speed then fine them for it. All this talk about cameras being a cash cow really makes me angry – if anyone has committed an offence then fine them.”
Councillor Rasab added that motorists were facing at least 30 minute delays on their daily commute while stuck in long tailbacks on the A34.
He added that another knock-on effect of the layout is people are starting to use the nearby Park Hall estate as a rat run as frustrated drivers seeks alternative routes.
Councillor Rasab said: “The layout was designed to make our roads safer, but it has just created congestion chaos.
“This is a main arterial route used by all residents in the borough, the new highway scheme has not worked and should never have been implemented.
“Councillors and residents urge the council to re-evaluate and re-open the two lane approaches towards the Bell and revert to the old layout that worked perfectly well.”
He added: “We understand the need for safety measures on the road. The installation of average speed cameras from county hotel all the way to the dual carriageway would help with road safety and allow the traffic to flow with a safe speed not compromising highway safety.”
Their petition can be accessed here .
Walsall Council has been contacted for comment.