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Lights idea aims to cut accidents

ROAD chiefs hope that a new scheme will reduce the number of crashes at a local accident black spot.

ROAD chiefs hope that a new scheme will reduce the number of crashes at a local accident black spot.

Traffic lights are going to be installed at Junction 5 of the M42 - the scene of dozens of collisions and regular congestion.

Solihull Council hopes that the signals, placed at the motorway exits, will drive down the number of crashes. In five years there have been 35 collisions involving injury at the junction, one of them serious.

The £460,000 project, funded by the Highways Agency (HA), was approved at a transport meeting last Thursday.

Councillor David Jamieson, cabinet member for transport and highways, welcomed the proposals. But he also wanted assurances from the HA that installing the lights wouldn’t cause tailbacks elsewhere.

“We need to be sure that this is an intelligent lights system, not a gormless one,” he said.

“We’ll also be watching like hawks to make sure that there’s no disruption when this work is carried out. This is one of the major routes out of Solihull town centre and any snarl-up will cause real problems.”

Coun Alan Rebeiro (Con, Knowle) also asked for clarification that the lights wouldn’t lead to more queues. The HA said this wouldn’t be an issue and added that the scheme should reduce crashes by two thirds.

Jim Morris, from the organisation, said: “The one problem is that we don’t have time on our side. We need to get it done this financial year, because next year our budget is being slashed and the money won’t be available.”

 

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