Michael Fabricant says: “The construction of HS2 and associated tunnelling by Lichfield continues to cause serious problems and this will only get worse when the project begins in earnest.
“The slip road from the A38 into Lichfield will be closed next year for up to 18 months and already I am hearing reports of major traffic delays on inappropriate lanes as drivers aim to find alternative routes when there are road closures.
“I have contacted both Staffordshire Police and the County Council asking for clear signage for diversion routes to avoid blockages where at all possible. I have also asked HS2 regarding this.”
David Speight, Project Client Director of HS2 responded: “As part of our construction programme, we currently need to implement traffic management on the A38. We are working closely with National Highways, including to put diversions in place for drivers. We have also shared notifications of our works with local residents and will continue to keep the community informed about the details of these and other works in the local area.
“The A38 is currently closed at Hilliard’s Cross, including the slip road off the A38, from 8pm to 5am Friday evening to Monday morning for eight weekends from 14 October to 6 December 2021.
“During the weekend of 30th- 31st October there was a road traffic collision near Hilliard’s Cross, which did cause delays and more congestion in the area, as the emergency services had to close the road to deal with the incident. This was not related to the A38 works.
“Next year, subject to consents, we will need to close the southbound slip road at Streethay – but not the A38 itself – for up to 14 months. We are currently discussing the affected routes with Staffordshire bus and school bus services so that alternative bus routes are ready for when the southbound slip road closes. The current works should not affect school bus routes as these are night-time closures. When the alternative routes are due to start, local residents will be notified of the new arrangements by their school bus provider. We will also share details of the works with the community in advance.
“The emergency services are briefed on all the works that we are completing in the Lichfield area, and will also be briefed again prior to the next phase of the work starting.
“We recognise these works are a concern for residents and we will continue to monitor the situation with our traffic management team. We will also continue to keep the local community informed about activities in their area through a variety of methods, including direct mail, meetings, and a dedicated HS2 website for works in the area: www.hs2instaffordshire.co.uk. Residents can also register to receive email notifications about HS2 works in the local area at www.engagement.hs2.org.uk/join-mailing-list.”
Michael comments: “My opposition to HS2 is well known both with regard to its cost and the odd, disconnected route it takes. However, the legislation for London to Crewe via Lichfield has been passed in Parliament despite my voting against and all I can do now is try and mitigate the effects of HS2 on my constituents.”