Council accused of refusal to listen concerns over flyover demolition.
With West Midlands Mayor Andy Street making clear his personal objection to the demolition of the Perry Barr Flyover, Council Leader Ian Ward’s written response to the Mayor has shown that the Labour run council intends to proceed with the scheme in spite of all the concerns raised by local residents and local and regional politicians.
Cllr Tim Huxtable (Con), Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment on Birmingham City Council said: “The response from Cllr Ward to the Mayor typifies his ‘I know best’ approach to leadership in this city and shows scant regard for the thousands of objections received from the people who will be most affected by this ill-conceived, risky and entirely unnecessary proposal. The so-called ‘consultation’ is supposedly open for another three weeks but it is clear that Cllr Ward is not in listening mode and that anything that anyone says will have no impact on his entrenched view.”
The proposal to remove the flyover has sparked a wave of concerns from residents and businesses about the disruption that will be caused both during and after the work is complete as well as the additional risk it poses to preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 by adding another complex infrastructure project to the work already needed for the Games. The Organising Committee have confirmed that the work is not necessary for the Games itself but will cause significant disruption in the run up and, if hit by any delays could risk athlete and spectator access to the event.
Cllr Huxtable added: “With the Mayor’s key role in regional transport planning and the delivery of the Commonwealth Games his views on this matter should count but, when those views are also backed up by thousands of residents and businesses ignoring them appears to be the worst kind of hubris. T
“he regeneration of Perry Barr that is being facilitated by the massive government investment in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games is a huge opportunity for the local area as well as the wider city and region, but alienating so many people by pushing ahead with these unwanted plans will leave a sour taste to the legacy of the Games and add further proof to the widely held view that Labour run Birmingham City Council has failed to learn the lessons of the past with its high-handed and arrogant approach to public engagement.”