Worcester MP Robin Walker has today called on Highways England to undertake an urgent review of the lane closures on the M5 motorway which are causing major delays for the city’s commuters.
The closures have been implemented between Worcester and the M42 junction to slow traffic approaching major roadworks at the Oldbury Viaduct in Birmingham, and come shortly after the end of several years of disruption caused by the Smart Motorway upgrade works in the area.
Having been contacted by a number of concerned constituents who have faced major delays on their daily commute, Robin has written to Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan to back up the concerns of his colleague and neighbouring MP Harriett Baldwin, who has also called for the lane closures to be reconsidered.
In his letter to Mr O’Sullivan, Robin called for better use of the newly installed gantry signs and temporary speed restrictions to be used to control traffic flow as opposed to the closure of lanes.
Commenting, Robin said:
“Many of my constituents are at the end of their tether with the delays on the M5. After the much anticipated and much delayed end to the Smart Motorway works, we all thought that our commutes would be smoother and quicker. For these lane closures to now be imposed on the county seems entirely counter-productive.”
“The improved overhead signage is there for a reason, and I have asked Highways England to consider making better use of this to regulate northbound traffic flow rather than resorting to the wholesale closure of lanes.”
“I have also passed on the concerns of many constituents who have contacted me about this, and I hope that these concerns will be listened to and acted upon by Highways England.”