THE MISERY of Rubery residents whose lives have been blighted by noise from one of the village’s main roads may soon be at an end after a 15-year campaign to get something done.
Coun Peter McDonald, who represents the area on Worcestershire County Council, has used cash from his divisional funds to have hedges planted from the A38 Rubery Bypass, alongside Callowbrook Lane.
The Standard has reported previously how Coun McDonald claimed residents had been let down badly by St Modwen which, he said, should have provided sound barriers and contributed to the cost of a low noise level surface for the road as part of the Longbridge Regeneration Project.
He said Worcestershire County Council had also not done its best by the residents after first agreeing to implementing a 40mph restriction on the A38 and then reneging on it later, stating cutbacks were to blame.
“It has been going on now for a decade and a half, but at least now something is happening.
“It may not have the same effect as structured panels, but hedging has been shown to be quite effective as a sound barrier.
“Also the fear of panels becoming graffiti boards will not materialise.
“It may take a year or so before any benefits are felt, but it is a move in the right direction.”
Coun McDonald added that he had reiterated his calls to Worcestershire County Council to implement a 40mph speed zone on the A38 which would also help reduce the noise.
A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said: “Following feedback from local residents, it was decided that installing noise barriers on the A38 in Rubery was not appropriate.
“The current signage and speed limit are correct and suitable for the route and there are presently no planned alterations.”
Mike Murray, development director at St Modwen, said the organisation had invested more than £300million to transform the brownfield site into a vibrant community where people want to live, work, visit and invest and, since the MG Rover collapse, had created 3,700 jobs and have delivered a new £100million town centre at the heart of the £1billion Longbridge regeneration scheme.
He said it had invested £7million to date, including A38 improvements and regularly consulted Birmingham City and Worcestershire County Councils, which it would continue to do so.
He said further improvements to the A38 and Longbridge Lane would be made in 2016, thanks to a £7million growth fund secured by St Modwen and Birmingham City Council.
“It is also important to highlight that Longbridge sits on the A38 corridor, which is the main access route from North Worcestershire to a number of key developments in south west Birmingham – not least the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Birmingham.”