£26m “hamburger-style” junction to relieve congestion at Birchley Island

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Sandwell Council will this week be asked to approve plans for a “hamburger-style” junction at Birchley Island, at junction 2 of the M5 motorway.

The proposal has been supported by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, which has earmarked a contribution of £16.1m towards the costs of the scheme. This offer is dependent on the money being spent by the end of 2021.

The West Midlands Combined Authority is also helping to fund the project.

The Council is planning to compulsorily purchase land around the existing Birchley Island to facilitate the scheme.

A hamburger junction is a type of junction that connects one major road with a number of minor roads using a circled traffic technique.

The leader of Sandwell Council, Steve Eling, said: “This is welcome news because the Birchley Island is a very congested junction which causes long delays and frustration for thousands of local motorists and drivers passing through.”

The existing junction has a poor safety record of 32 injury accidents in the last five years. The scheme is designed to improve road safety through improved junction control, lane marking and better pedestrian and cycling facilities.

Eling added: “The main problem is that the island is used by so many motorists who do not have an alternative route to the motorways or into Oldbury. It is a junction I avoid at all times.

“The new hamburger system will improve the congestion problems though it will always be a busy junction and the improvements will have a positive effect on bus services and for local motorists.”

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