Delays caused by roadworks in Lichfield have been raised with transport chiefs by the city’s MP.

Work is currently underway on the junction at the corner of London Road, Tamworth Road and Shortbutts Lane as part of the new Southern Bypass work.

Roadworks taking place at the Shortbutts Lane junction. Picture: Google Streetview

The new junction will also serve a housing estate being built by developer Persimmon nearby.

But residents and drivers have raised concerns with Michael Fabricant MP over the delays caused by the work.

The Conservative MP said Staffordshire County Council had reassured him that the work would be completed within the next two months.

“I am very conscious of the traffic delays – I gather this could last until mid September, maybe longer, following my contact with the county council.”

“I have told chief exeutive John Henderson that the jams caused by the contraflow and one way working are very distressing. 

“Time costs money and drivers are experiencing long delays.”

Michael Fabricant MP

A Staffordshire County Council spokesperson told Mr Fabricant the work had been a complex project to manage.

“The traffic management is currently expected to be in place until 13th September.

“One of the greatest challenges with this element of the works is co-ordinating the activities of several different utility companies.

“If Persimmon are able to manage things perfectly and get great co-operation from five or six utilities, there is always a risk that one or two others will fail to perform. 

“We continue to work very closely with Persimmon and support however we can.”

Staffordshire County Council spokesperson

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  1. I’d like to caution anyone who is expecting the delays to end when the Junction opens after the 13th September!

    Once the temporary traffic lights are removed and the new traffic lights start operating the delays will still continue. The ‘Road to Nowhere’ will have arrived and unfortunately for all concerned congestion has been built into it’s very design!

    It’s built in, by the addition of traffic lights and feeder lanes to the ‘Southern Bypass’ junction with London Road at the threshold of the petrol filling station.

    And at what cost, these extra delays to our journeys, the local community has lost the Darwin Walk and the memorial tree lined green space it traversed. I believe it amounts to a scandal.

  2. I am constantly amazed at how long it takes to get any roadworks completed in this country. I have lost count of the number of times Trent Valley Road has had them, and they’re back again. If the new island at Fosseway takes much longer they’ll be starting a pension scheme for it. It all looks like disorganised chaos.

  3. Too often contractors are allowed to close roads or have temporary traffic lights without proper oversight of their plans to minimise disruption. This has truly been a case in point for that, work has not progressed with any speed, as it does not cost the contractor anything and the council does not hold them to account.

  4. This has been going on for months and only now does our MP feel he needs to release a statement. Too little too late and as useful as a chocolate teapot.

  5. These roadworks are a responsibility of the County. Not Lichfield District and not the United Kingdom Parliament.
    If I am contacted by a constituent, I don’t refer them back to County or District, I take the matter up on the constituent’s behalf and then let them have the response.
    If I am not contacted, I obviously don’t. That determines the timing.

  6. I’d love to know how County and Highways decide on the time of roadworks. While recently trying to travel to Tamworth from Waitrose, I had to pass through 6 sets of road works/temp traffic lights/ road closures in Lichfield – all over a 3/4 of a mile journey. It’s absolutely barmy. Why have them all at the same time? Who authorised this nonsense?

  7. One of the main issues with the roadworks problems here is the lack of personnel watching the traffic between 5 and 6 each evening.

    Back when the roadworks started there was a traffic management van there every day staying late during this period. Once traffic backed up into the roadworks causing a jam (due to those leaving Lichfield not being able to get through when their lights go green due to traffic backed up through the lights), that person would get out and manually control the lights until the jam disappeared.

    Apparently due to trying to reduce costs linked to overrunning they now no longer have anyone watching the lights at this time.

    Living right next to the roadworks, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen stationary traffic while walking past during this time!

  8. Are these contractors just left to their own devices, to complete the work when it suits them? Surely it would make sense to agree a reasonable time for completion, then have financial penalties if this isn’t complied with? Nothing like a financial motivation to get their act together.

  9. Like everything since the demise of municipal services and the intended privatisation/outsourcing, the coordination and direction of such works has largely disappeared. You also have to remember that many contracted companies subcontract etc etc. When you vote to contract the state, as the majority havbitualy do in Lichfield constituency, you vote to increase the likelihood of the current situation, where many actors ply their lucrative trade in glorious indifference to each other, and the general public.

  10. Quite true John Griffin, the privatisation of what used to be public services has resulted in chaos, with little coordination between private companies now doing the work, and the profit motive dominating. The same can be said for our public transport systems, and the rise in what can only be described as a stock market for energy supply. What chance for action on climate change when profits come before the planet?

  11. Free enterprise companies running public services were supposed the key to greater efficiency, perhaps they are just the key to the public purse! With a total lack of any accountable oversight, third world here we come!

  12. Michael Fabricant: “If I am contacted by a constituent, I don’t refer them back to County or District, I take the matter up on the constituent’s behalf and then let them have the response.
    If I am not contacted, I obviously don’t. That determines the timing.”

    Wow, so you are saying that you are a “reactive” MP rather than “proactive”? Unless someone actually points out a problem in the Lichfield district by reporting it to you, you would much rather ignore it and pretend it went away of its own accord? What great representation you are for the people of Lichfield! The sooner you are voted out the better.

  13. We were sold the idea that privatising public services would result in greater efficiency and the best people doing the work, back in the days of Ted Heath and Maggie Thatcher (Conservatives). And yet the idea that competition brings out the best has been disproved time and time again. We were also duped by one of the biggest frauds in history, whereby one day we all collectively owned the services, but the next day they had been sold off and we could buy shares in them. Public services should be under public control. We have seen the chaos when they are not.

  14. @John Allen… It’s about basic philosophy John. The Conservative mantra is for private enterprise. By stealth they have infiltrated many public services with profit orientated capitalism. Schools are one disaster waiting to happen when the academy system fails. Dentistry is largely private patient driven. Hospitals have infrastructure owned by developers and pay massive rents, seemingly for all time. They also use many outside services including private medical companies. There is much, much more but if there is money to be made for capitalists the Tories will facilitate it. The NHS and free school systems would never have been conceived by conservative policies. People are deceived into thinking that there is benefit in privatisation. A legacy of the class system I suppose. We are still a people who are subservient to our betters.

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