Chris Kelly, Chairman & Managing Director, has told the public inquiry into the installation of traffic lights at the Burnt Tree Island, where the Sandwell & Dudley boroughs meet, that the proposals are a retrograde step.

Mr Kelly gave evidence to the inquiry, outlining his concerns over the impact on commercial vehicles of replacing a roundabout with traffic lights.

Quoted in today’s Express & Star he said: “The plans for the junction will bring about massively increased vehicle emissions and increased fuel burn.

“This plan will increase journey times and reflects very poor value for money for the taxpayer. It is a well accepted fact among vehicle engineers and engineering academics that bringing a vehicle to an involuntary stop then moving away again uses much more fuel and emits far more CO2 than when the vehicle is slowly moving and speeds up again.” He criticised Sandwell
Council, claiming they failed to look at other options. “Sandwell and Dudley councils have shown what can only be described as a cavalier attitude to anyone who has a counter plan to their own,” he said.

“There was an alternate suggestion that the councils should investigate the design and costing of a steel flyover to take the bulk of the traffic away from the Wolverhampton to Birmingham Road.

“This, I say regrettably, was never even considered, or at least there was no communication that it was being considered. On the basis that a low cost flyover has not or would not be considered, an alternative to traffic lights would be to modify the entry lanes into the existing island.” Solicitor for Sandwell Council, Nadia Sharif, said that the council had looked at alternative plans, but traffic lights were found to be the best option.

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Andrew Bentley, MInst SMM
Head of Vehicle Contracts and Marketing