A traffic lights scheme costing pounds 10 million has been branded a”crazy waste of money” by a West Bromwich businessman. Chris Kelly, managing director of freight firm Keltruck, claimed that congestion at Burnt Tree island, on the border of Sandwell and Dudley boroughs, could be made worse by the lights.

Traffic lights cast shadow

BURNT TREE: Businessman and Tory MP lead protests

A traffic lights scheme costing £10 million has been branded a”crazy waste of money” by a West Bromwich businessman.

Chris Kelly, managing director of freight firm Keltruck, claimed that congestion at Burnt Tree island, on the border of Sandwell and Dudley boroughs, could be made worse by the lights.

Mr Kelly said that Britain’s roads were in a total mess compared to other European countries and motorists and companies were paying tax through the nose for motoring while money was diverted to other areas.

“I think it is a crazy decision by Sandwell Council and Dudley Councils to go ahead with their plan to install a multiple set of traffic lights at the Burnt Tree island.

“What makes this decision even more crazy is that Sandwell Council has also decided to spend around £15 million on a flyover where there is absolutely no need for one at the fire station island near to junction 1 of the M5 in West Bromwich,” he said.

Mr Kelly, together with local business representatives and Conservative shadow transport minister Owen Paterson, yesterday staged a demonstration at the island.

Mr Kelly said: “We are very much against traffic lights where we feel they are unnecessary and we certainly feel they are unnecessary at Burnt Tree island. Lights will slow down progress of traffic.

“This scheme is going to cost £10 million and we do not feel it is giving anything like value for money.” And he rejected claims by Sandwell Council that Burnt Tree island was abottle neck and an accident blackspot.

Sandwell Council insists there are “considerable delays” at Burnt Tree island at peak periods, with as many as 8,000 lorries and 64,000 cars and other vehicles passing through the five-way island every day.

Burnt Tree is a relatively small island, but a number of main roads, including the A4123 and the A461, converge there.

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