PERRY BAR FLYOVER: Removal blasted as ‘vandalism’
The removal of the Perry Barr flyover has been blasted as “extreme municipal vandalism” by a councillor who believes the structure served to protect pedestrians.
Work to remove the main deck of the flyover took place over the weekend despite a campaign from residents including a petition of more than 15,000 signatures opposing the plan.
A residents’ action group, A34 Safety Action Group, made an unsuccessful legal bid against the demolition last year.
Birmingham City Council has said the work is an important part of a £500 million regeneration of Perry Barr which will see the A34 widened and a new ground-level junction built in its place.
Cllr Jon Hunt, leader of the Liberal Democrat group and ward member for Perry Barr, said: “In the future, we will find out the effect this has had.
“This idea it will be a marvellous regeneration is not what I have seen so far. Let’s hope the consequences are not too severe in the future.”
He said the road at the point of pelican crossings on the site would now be likely to be used by significantly more vehicles as well as pedestrians.
He said: “This is an act of extreme municipal vandalism. Not only has the flyover been essential for managing the merger of two busy commuter routes in and out of Birmingham, it is an iconic structure in Perry Barr.
“It is being removed to make way for a high density development, which may never take place. As well as managing traffic, it protected pedestrians from the large volume of vehicles travelling down the A34 and enabled the development of express bus services down the transport corridor.
“In other cities, including nearby Coventry, sums of up to £100 million have been spent putting in tunnels and flyovers to manage similar junctions.
“Only Birmingham seems to believe that traffic queuing at traffic lights is an improvement.
“We will have to live with the loss of the flyover – but we will continue to press to ensure that all the money being spent in the area makes it truly a better place to live.”
In response, cabinet member for transport and environment Cllr Waseem Zaffar (Lab) said: “This is ill-informed, baseless nonsense.
“Removal of the flyover is an important part of a £500m+ regeneration project that will transform Perry Barr, making it the most well-connected district in the West Midlands, while creating an open spacious environment for pedestrians and upgrading cycling facilities.
“We’re investing in a better, greener future for the people of Perry Barr and this transformation will benefit local residents for generations to come.”
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter
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