We oppose demolition of Perry Barr flyover

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We the undersigned object in the strongest possible terms to the proposal to remove the Perry Barr flyover included in the Perry Barr transport reorganisation. We are deeply alarmed about the prospect of two years of disruption and road closures, believe the X51 bus service would cease to be viable and are not satisfied that the proposed replacement traffic lights will be adequate.

Background: Birmingham City Council is consulting on only one choice for the traffic issue in Perry Barr and insists the flyover must be removed. We do not believe that alternatives have been properly considered or that the huge costs and disruption of removing this piece of infrastructure have been estimated properly. Council officials have admitted they have still not done a cost benefit analysis.

The problems it will cause are:

  • two years of disruption to the A34 through route while demolition and construction takes place (Council published timetable)
  • huge damage to the X51 express bus service which relies on this route - and instead will be caught in the disruption. This may be currentlly the best bus service in Birmingham;
  • a questionable replacement traffic light junction linking the A34 and A453 with the One Stop Shopping Centre at a single traffic lights;
  • disruption and gridlock spreading across north Birmingham as a result.

This flyover is a crucial piece of infrastructure which makes the interchange between two very busy commuter routes and A-roads work.

It is also a vital artery into Birmingham city centre and has to carry a lot of traffic when there are problems on the M6 or the Aston Expressway.

City leader Cllr Ian Ward has stated he wants everyone in the Perry Barr area to use the bus - "the preferred mode of transport in Perry Barr" in his words. This is utterly unrealistic - but even the buses will not work during two years of demolition work. There is significant work to be done in this area - retaining the flyover will help keep the traffic moving.

The flyover is already  easy on the eye - it is only two lanes wide - and could easily have been incorporated into the design of the new village being built in this area - making the village itself a lot more interesting on the eye. There is plenty of experience from other cities of how to make these pieces of road infrastructure friendlier places. A major traffic light junction will be unsightly and will cause queuing and extra pollution from vehicles stopping and starting in a neighbourhood where new housing is being developed.

There has been no serious attempt to develop an alternative scheme which continues to take advantage of the  flyover. The land that is being  cleared to the east of the flyover is not intended for development until after 2022 and can be used to help create a working road network at this busy interchange. Birmingham City Council must rethink its transport plans for this area.