DELAYS on the M5 are being doubled as a result of controversial lane closures on the M5, a review by Highways England has found.
The review, carried out at the request of county MP Harriett Baldwin, shows peak time journeys through the congested area have risen from seven to 13 minutes as a result of lane closures at the junction of the M5 and M42.
The MP has now written to Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan asking him to lift the lane closures, which are having a direct impact on county commuters.
Closures were implemented to divert traffic away from the major roadworks at the Oldbury viaduct in the Black Country but drivers are reporting delays through the M42 junction as well as on north Worcestershire A roads.
“Anyone who travels on the motorway northbound, either to Birmingham or along the M42 to other destinations, knows that this traffic configuration is causing hold ups just to persuade drivers to use an alternative route,” Mrs Baldwin said.
“The report confirms the fact showing Worcestershire commuters are paying the high price for Birmingham’s roadworks and this situation is not acceptable.
“By creating this artificial pinchpoint, most drivers are now aware of both the Oldbury roadworks and the alternative routes to avoid them.
“We’ve spent millions of pounds on a new SMART motorway with improved gantry signs.
“Now is the time to remove the concrete barriers, use better signage and allow people to choose the right route for themselves.”