Nearly 400 HS2 lorries could go through Balsall Common every day if resubmitted plans are approved
By James Smith
18th Feb 2022 | Local News
Plans to send nearly lorries through Balsall Common every day for HS2 works have been re-submitted to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.
If approved the plans would see lorries drive straight through the centre of the village centre down the A452 before turning onto Kelsey lane and heading to the Waste Lane worksites.
The hundreds of lorries would be allowed through the town until the end of 2025 - although the number is expected to drop to 120 a day from December 2024.
The high speed rail developers said on average there would be 176 two-way movements to Waste Lane every day, rising to 188 (376 total) at peak times.
HS2 ltd had a similar application rejected on appeal last December.
But if approved the new plans would see up to 936 daily lorry movements (468 each way) on different parts of the A452 to service the various worksites in the area.
The previous plans were rejected because SMBC said the routes were unsafe and that lorries would cause harm to the local environment.
"The width of these roads are insufficient for two large goods vehicles to pass safely without causing harm to road users and pedestrians using the adjacent footpaths," the report published last December said.
Planning officers said there was an alternative route via Park Lane which "would remove the need for large goods vehicles to travel through Balsall Common village and thus reduce the impact on local environment and local amenity and also free flow of traffic and highway safety".
The council said the developers had not considered other options properly.
But having submitted a fresh application HS2 said traffic calming on Kelsey Road would "address highway safety".
The company has proposed:
- 20mph speed limits along Kelsey Lane to Windmill lane.
- Traffic priority system between Meeting House Lane and Windmill Lane.
- A mini (painted) roundabout at the Kelsey Lane, Waste Lane and Windmill Lane interchange.
- The setting back of the Stop Line along Kelsey Lane (west-bound), where it meets the A452 Kenilworth Road interchange.
- Digital speed signs.
With the application validated last week residents have been quick to criticise the plans.
One resident said: "To those that say let's get on with it, how would you feel if you or a relative was to be injured or suffer from the additional pollution these additional vehicle movements through the village, on clearly an inadequate road structure?"
Whilst another added: "So they think that by painting a mini roundabout at Windmill Lane, moving a couple of other lines here and there and reducing the speed limit will get this through?
"Its an absolute joke and stinks of arrogance.
"The alternatives are there for all to see and their constant excuses as to why they don't want to pursue them stink even worse."
An online petition has also been started by Berkswell Parish Councillor Cllr Andrew Burrow urging the council not to approve the application.
It already has over 600 signatures.
(Image by Bill Nicholls via geograph.org.uk)