CALLS to stop plans for 200 HS2 lorries travelling through Balsall Common daily have been backed by West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.
Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition which calls on the high speed rail company to create a separate route for the lorries across land owned by HS2 – known as a ‘trace line route’ – from its Park Lane compound to the depot at Waste Lane.
Mr Street has written to the boss of HS2, Allan Cook, calling for the firm to ‘be a good neighbour’ and urged him to attend a public meeting next week over the controversial proposals for HGVs to use roads in Balsall Common up to 200 times a day.
The applications are seeking permission for 200 HGVs a day to go along the A452, Kelsey Lane and Waste Lane, with a small number continuing along Hodgetts Lane and Truggist Lane and back and for up to 200 HGVs each way per day along both parts of Hallmeadow Road, with a new access off the roundabout by the Balsall Common Medical Centre to create a haul route behind the Legion and Unity/Carstins Garage towards Waste Lane.
In his letter Mr Street wrote: “Many residents, councillors and local MP Saqib Bhatti are asking why HS2 have not considered or put forward a proposal for a dedicated haul route across HS2 land which would prevent large volumes of traffic from having to use Balsall Common.
“This route would go a significant way to addressing a number of important concerns being expressed by local residents, and critically, would show that HS2 strives to be a good neighbour in the communities it seeks to serve.
“Other important issues raised include pedestrian safety and ensuring clear access the medical centre, as well as the prospect of further congestion and increased air pollution as a result of significant increases in HGV movements in these communities.”
Residents say the roundabout currently being constructed at the junction of the A452 and Park Lane was designed to enable HS2 traffic to enter the Park Lane compound and then service construction works along an internal continuous trace-line haul route, thereby minimising disruption to Balsall Common roads and residents.
They say that HS2’s submitted planning applications show they intend to abandon their intent to sensitively work in collaboration with the local councillors and residents, thereby adding further unnecessary disruption to a community that is already heavily affected by the new railway.
Meriden MP Saqib Bhatti and Solihull councillors – Ken Allsopp, Tony Dicicco and Diane Howell – are backing the campaign to stop the HGVs.