A Lichfield councillor says a plan to use open space in the city to for a new road junction have been pulled.
Staffordshire County Council had hoped to use Festival Gardens for a new filter lane between the A51 and The Friary at the Bowling Green island.
Lichfield City Council – which owns the land – had opened a consultation on the proposals, which led to a petition signed by thousands of residents objecting to the scheme.
Cllr Colin Greatorex, Conservative representative for Lichfield City South at Staffordshire County Council, said the controversial scheme had now been axed after the strength of feeling amongst local residents became clear.
“I have just, as county councillor, agreed that Staffordshire County Council should withdraw from any interest in acquiring Festival Gardens land from Lichfield City Council in order to extend the A51 south at the Bowling Green roundabout.
“There had to be silence on my behalf while the city council ran its public consultation.
“That finished yesterday and I have seen both the comments from that consultation and the weight of the opposition to the scheme represented by the petition.
“I have been impressed with the campaign behind the petition and the variety of concerns expressed and so informed the county council officers I am pulling the scheme.
“The public have been listened to.”Cllr Colin Greatorex, Staffordshire County Council
Lichfield City Council had been due to discuss the responses to the consultation later this month.
Residents had raised a number of issues, including whether changes in travel in the wake of the coronavirus crisis should be a factor in the decision-making process.
Cllr Greatorex said discussions were now planned with developers about how infrastructure might look for future developments.
“One benefit of pulling the scheme is there is now no need for the uncertainty that would have existed if the city council had been required to meet again to decide whether to progress further.
“This will not happen on 17th April – the scheme is not going ahead.
“Some of the consultation respondents have made the point that fewer people are on the road and more are cycling and walking.
“The housing developers are still obliged to contribute to transport infrastructure improvements.
“Therefore, I have asked the county council officers to look at developer-funded improvements to pedestrian road crossings, cycleways and pedestrian walkways that do not involve any land transfers.
“These will now be further discussed with the developer.
“Thanks to all those who have contacted me with alternative improvement ideas.”Cllr Colin Greatorex, Staffordshire County Council