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17th Oct, 2021

Campaigners call on county council highways chief to come and speak to residents about A38 bridge plans

RESIDENTS living near the A38 in Bromsgrove where pedestrian and cycle footbridges have been proposed have called on the councillor responsible for highways and transport to visit the site and speak to residents.

Campaigners say one of the proposed bridges, which would cross the main road between Old Station Road and Harvington Road, is unsuitable.

And they added they had been left frustrated by their requests for a face-to-face meeting with Coun Alan Amos. Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for highways, ‘falling on deaf ears’.

Campaigner Steve Hallett said: “We are frustrated by the failure of the Bromsgrove Road Enhancement Prog-ramme (BREP) project team to be clear on the driver for the bridge, the benefits it will bring and why other solutions to improve the safety of the crossing were discounted.

“On the much-lauded engagement exercise, the project team couldn’t provide even the most basic facts, ie footfall numbers and we knew future conversations would be high on rhetoric and low on detail.

“Six months on we’re still fighting for information. We’ve heard all the ‘active travel’ buzzwords but we have had to resort to conducting our own investigations and are raising Freedom of Information requests to get basic data.

“The fact we now have the glorious artist’s impression of the bridge from the bypass but no view of what residents will see from their properties speaks volumes.”

He added they were all ‘open-minded adults and were prepared to be persuaded by clear information’.

“If we are genuinely in a consultation phase, we request yet again that Coun Amos takes up our offer of a face-to-face discussion,” said Mr Hallett. “Come on down, the price isn’t right, £6,234,677 – the cost of the bridge – to fix a problem your team can’t quantify doesn’t feel right.”

A petition opposing the bridge has acquired 269 names so far.

When the council unveiled the proposals for the bridges last month, encouraging people to email their views, residents questioned why, with restrictions lifted, a public meeting could not be held to discuss the issues.

They called it a ‘waste of money’, claiming the bridges would need 100m ramps which would start at a crossing already in place.

Coun Amos, said: “Following the conclusion of the recent pre-planning public information exercise, comments will be carefully considered before the submission of any planning applications.

“The public will have a further opportunity to comment on the proposals as part of the statutory planning process.”

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