Mixed views over plans for new M54-M6 link road
Plans for a new link road between the M54 and M6 received a mixed response at the first public consultation meeting.
Some residents are concerned that the proposed £200 million dual carriageway – between the M54’s J1, Feathertone, and the M6’s J11, for Cannock – will be built too close to homes.
While others believe the project would help ease traffic on surrounding A roads in South Staffordshire, which is the objective of Highways England plans.
The first meeting of a six-week consultation by Highways England took place at Featherstone and Hilton Community Centre yesterday afternoon, where dozens of people attended.
The proposed link road will pass near to homes on Dark lane, Hilton, and that has concerned resident Karen Rushton, aged 55, who lives there.
She said: “I think it will create too much noise for residents. They (Highways England) have promised to plant trees (to reduce the noise impact) but those trees won’t be mature.
“I am thinking about my grandchildren. I know we need progress but I think this road will be a waste of time. It will come too close to homes.”
Alongside boards and placards at the centre, there were also headphones comparing noise levels to current levels now, and those with noise barriers and trees in place alongside the new link road.
A computer simulation showed noise levels were reduced with these measures in place.
However June Rushton,71, who lives on Park Road, Hilton, was unconvinced, saying: “There is no way it would be that quiet.”
Her daughter Sam Orgill, 47, from Featherstone, has mixed views on the project, saying: “Everybody agrees this (project) needs doing but people don’t want it so close to homes.” Ms Rushton added: “If the link road was further back (from homes), I wouldn’t be so concerned.”
Project planners have moved the proposed link road 25m further away from homes on Dark Lane than previously planned. Illustrations at the public meeting showed where trees and noise barriers have been earmarked, with greenery planned for the whole section of the link road, especially around Hilton. Highways England project planners say the proposed link road would take 22,000 vehicles off the A460 each day alongside easing congestion on the A449 and A5.
This is welcome news for Steve Clews, 71, from Featherstone, who said:“ Queues can sometimes be long to get onto the M6. I think this will ease traffic on the roads.”
The consultation will end on July 5.