M42 scheme could see footpaths diverted claim Open Spaces Society - The Solihull Observer

M42 scheme could see footpaths diverted claim Open Spaces Society

Solihull Editorial 5th Mar, 2018   0

PLANS for a £282m scheme to improve the M42 junction 6 with the A45 near Birmingham Airport have been criticised by a conservation body.

The Open Spaces Society has objected to Highways England’s plans over concerns about the loss of public access on foot as a result of the scheme.

The society claim the plans would sever six public footpaths and walkers would have to walk lengthy diversions along roads where they would be at risk from vehicles and suffer from the pollution and noise they generate.

The multi-million pound scheme falls within the remit of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Open Spaces say the plans are contrary to policy P18 in the council’s local plan.

Policy P18 states developments should promote, support and enhance physical and mental health and well-being, and to develop a high-quality, safe and convenient walking and cycling network.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the society, said: “The proposals will have a devastating effect on those wishing to walk in the area and in particular people who wish to walk to and from Birmingham International station.

“They will be deterred from using the paths because the diversions are tortuous and, in places, dangerous.

“While the scheme may assist motorists, it will be to the detriment of walkers, riders and cyclists.

“We have called on Highways England to create pedestrian footbridges wherever new roads are proposed to sever public footpaths, and wide footways at any point where people are forced to share a vehicular route.

“We have also said that it must keep public paths on their existing routes, and model the new roads to accommodate them. It must also uphold policy P18 in the Solihull local plan.”


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