Traffic lights go-ahead sparks anger

By IH Wednesday 06 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 08:45

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Buy photos » Green light for more traffic lights on Birmingham Road. (s)

ANGER has greeted news another set of traffic lights are to be installed on Stratford's Birmingham Road.

Warwickshire County Council this week gave the go-ahead for the new lights - the sixth set along Birmingham Road - at the Western Road junction as part the redevelopment the former Cattle Market site. There will also be a crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.

But councillors have slammed the move saying the busy road is already close to gridlock.

Coun Clive Thomas, town and district councillor for Avenue and Newtown, said: "Once again the county council has not listened to the public's representatives.The idea for a study on Birmingham road came up as the public were stating not another set of traffic lights to stop the traffic flow.

"All locals including councillors did not want traffic lights at the end of Western Road, especially so close to the Arden street lights. Why not left turn only which is easier and quicker than lights.

"All I can say to the county council is think again. The Birmingham road is now very close to complete gridlock."

And Coun Peter Balaam, county council ward member and Chair of the Birmingham Road Traffic Management Study Steering Group, said: “I am disappointed an alternative solution to the traffic signals could not be found because many residents feel, quite rightly, that these delay main road traffic unnecessarily and make congestion worse. I am hopeful however that the consultants will identify other opportunities to better manage traffic on Birmingham Road.”

County council highway chiefs commissioned an independent study carried out by a consultancy team. The Birmingham Road Traffic Management Study considered a range of alternative options for the Western Road junction including the current layout, a roundabout and a left-turn only arrangement.

The consultants concluded traffic signals were the best option, with alternatives not deemed acceptable on either highway safety grounds or for the operational requirements of the proposed bus interchange outside Stratford train station.

Coun Peter Butlin, county transport and highways spokesman, said: “The decision to approve the traffic signals has been a difficult one because we are aware that local residents and businesses are concerned that traffic congestion on Birmingham Road is getting worse.

“However, we also know that the additional traffic from the Cattle Market development and buses serving the new bus interchange will require safe access onto Birmingham Road.

"We need to make sure there is suitable access for HGVs serving Western Road and that safe crossing facilities are provided for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

“The independent study has confirmed that traffic signals are necessary to strike a balance between the need to manage traffic effectively on Birmingham Road, while at the same time ensuring that the Western Road junction continues to operate safely for all road users.”

The proposed traffic signals at the Western Road junction will be paid for by the developer of the former Cattle Market site which is now under construction. The lights are set to be installed in the summer.

New traffic signals will also be provided on Alcester Road which will provide the other main access to the development.

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