Town MP repeats bid for road chiefs to re-open M5 lane - The Evesham Observer

Town MP repeats bid for road chiefs to re-open M5 lane

Evesham Editorial 25th Aug, 2018   0

HIGHWAYS chiefs have been urged to launch a review into an ‘artificial’ lane closure on the M5 which Pershore’s MP has claimed increased the chances of major accidents.

Harriett Baldwin has demanded action to be taken over the ‘unacceptable’ closure on the northbound carriageway where the motorway meets the M42 at Junction 4A.

The closure reduced the stretch of road on the approach to the M42 from four lanes to three.

Mrs Baldwin’s impassioned plea for an urgent review came after it was revealed the Oldbury Viaduct roadworks were six months behind schedule which would have a knock-on impact on the M5 lane closure.

The MP has already written several times to Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan demanding him to listen to the ‘increasingly angry voices of drivers’ and remove the closure.

“I continue to be exasperated by the fact local drivers have to face these artificial delays just to deter them from driving towards the Birmingham roadworks,” she said.

“The Government has spent millions on new signage and a smart motorway and yet Highways England persist in this artificial lane closure.

“Most drivers will know there are major roadworks towards Birmingham and proper signage should give motorists the choice to divert if they wish.

“This intransigence by Highways England runs the direct risk of increasing the chance of delays and accidents in Worcestershire and this is simply not acceptable.

“My constituents are still frustrated by this lack of a proper response by Highways England and I urge them to finally listen to the increasingly angry voices of drivers before there is a major incident here.”

A Highways England spokesperson said they understood the need to minimise disruption caused by the traffic management on the M5 and would remove the restriction as soon as it was safe to do so.

“Our repair of the Oldbury Viaduct is absolutely essential and when we start work on the northbound carriageway we will focus on opening another lane for traffic to use,” they added.

“As soon as we have this in place we can remove the restriction at Junction 4A on the M5.

“We would like to reassure people we do have maximum resources deployed to this work to ensure we complete it as quickly as we are safely able to.”

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