CALLS have been made for Birmingham City Council to make changes to the roads around the new Longbridge Town Centre, which residents say is causing ‘utter chaos’.
Coun Andy Cartwright contacted The Standard about the issue which, he fears, is having a detrimental effect on the town’s businesses.
It centres around the lights by The Factory Youth Centre which enable drivers to turn right onto the Bristol Road and left to go towards Bromsgrove and Rubery.
Drivers say the lights are only on green for six seconds and only let out a maximum of three cars, leading to congestion from those using the town centre.
Coun Cartwright said: “I’m proud of the Longbridge Town Centre and I want it to work, but that is not going to happen if there’s too much traffic.
“People are saying to me: ‘if it’s like that now, what’s it going to be like when the new M&S is built’.”
The new Marks and Spencer flagship store in Longbridge, which is due to open on November 4, is set to be the biggest in the Midlands and the third biggest in the UK.
“It does not matter what shops we have there – whether it be Sainsbury’s, Next or the new M&S, if the traffic situation is bad, people won’t come and we don’t want that,” said Coun Cartwright.
“The situation with the lights sequence is a simple one to fix – we just need them to let more cars out – it’s not rocket science.”
On the other side, there have also been complaints about the way the road goes into a single carriageway outside Longbridge Railway Station.
Coun Cartwright said he had also seen another, more serious, situation develop in the past few weeks.
“I had turned left at the lights at The Factory youth centre and was on the single carriageway outside the station and then there was an emergency ambulance trying to get through.
“There was nowhere for anyone to go and it must have took more than 15 minutes for it to get past to continue on its journey – it’s not good enough.”
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of problems with signalling over the weekend and immediate changes are being made to increase ‘green time’ where it is needed to allow better traffic flow.
“We are also working with colleagues at our partner Amey to review the whole traffic signal operation at the junction to see if further improvements can be made.”