Talks are taking place on how to mitigate the impact of the closure of a slip road off the A38 at Lichfield for more than a year.

The slip road at Streethay. Picture: Google Streetview

HS2 has confirmed the Streethay off ramp is likely to face long-term closure starting next year to allow the controversial high speed rail route to be built.

The line will pass beneath the A38 as it moves through Lichfield and the surrounding villages.

David Speight, project client director of HS2 said alternative routes for traffic using the access road from the A38 were being explored in order to minimise the impact on residents as much as possible.

“Next year, subject to consents, we will need to close the southbound slip road at Streethay – but not the A38 itself – for up to 14 months.

“We are currently discussing the affected routes so that alternative routes are ready for when the slip road closes.

“The emergency services are briefed on all the works that we are completing in the Lichfield area, and will also be briefed again prior to the next phase of the work starting.

“We recognise these works are a concern for residents and we will continue to monitor the situation with our traffic management team.

“We will also continue to keep the local community informed about activities in their area through a variety of methods, including direct mail, meetings, and a dedicated HS2 website for works in the area.”

David Speight

Preliminary closures of the A38 and slip roads have already lead to tailbacks on surrounding roads through Fradley and other villages.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has raised concerns with HS2 and other authorities about the impact longer-term works could have.

““The construction of HS2 and associated tunnelling by Lichfield continues to cause serious problems – and this will only get worse when the project begins in earnest.

“The slip road from the A38 into Lichfield will be closed next year for up to 18 months and already I am hearing reports of major traffic delays on inappropriate lanes as drivers aim to find alternative routes when there are road closures. 

“I have contacted both Staffordshire Police and the county council asking for clear signage for diversion routes to avoid blockages where at all possible. I have also asked HS2 regarding this.

“My opposition to HS2 is well known both with regard to its cost and the odd, disconnected route it takes.

“However, the legislation for London to Crewe via Lichfield has been passed in Parliament despite my voting against and all I can do now is try and mitigate the effects of HS2 on my constituents.”

“Shared notifications of our works with local residents”

Mr Speight added that delays experienced so far during works were not entirely down to the closures being put in place.

“We are working closely with National Highways to put diversions in place for drivers.

“We have also shared notifications of our works with local residents and will continue to keep the community informed about the details of these and other works in the local area. 

“The A38 is currently closed at Hilliard’s Cross, including the slip road off the A38, from 8pm to 5am, Friday evening to Monday morning, for eight weekends from 14th October to 6th December. 

“During the weekend of 30th and 31st October there was a road traffic collision near Hilliard’s Cross which did cause delays and more congestion in the area, as the emergency services had to close the road to deal with the incident. This was not related to the A38 works.”

David Speight

But Mr Fabricant said

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  1. I assume there’s nothing after “but Mr Fabricant said” because Boris hasn’t told him what to say yet.
    Seriously, though, the talks are meaningless; the work will go ahead regardless and there is nothing local residents can say or do to change it.

  2. HS2 nanaged to build their own slip road off the A38 to their compound in lovely smooth tarmac. Perhaps they should have planned better to avoid major road closures. It’s making lanes around Lichfield too dangerous to cycle and causing grid lock. Just scrap whole of HS2 and save us the costs of this great white elephant. It’s been approved with false data and forecasts.

    Get our roads maintained properly instead.

  3. The diversion so far has caused Netherstowe Lane and Watery Lane to become rat runs, making it dangerous for walkers and cyclists, as Ian comments. The first of these is supposed to be a cycling lane, and is simply not suitable for large numbers of cars. Unless something is done to stop this, it is an accident waiting to happen, and cyclists are going to be the victims. Is the misery and chaos of this unwanted waste of money ever going to end?

  4. It would seem from today’s pronouncements that high speed rail is not the be all it was sold as. That, in fact, upgrading existing systems will provide better results. Of course this is just the government talking to justify their inability to deliver their manifesto promises.
    The gravy train (note the pun) that is HS2 has simply given Tory construction contributors reward for their support. All the lies about work and opportunity distribution are just that. It was only ever an expensive commuter line for the rich and company funded travellers.
    How much more could have been done with this massive amount of money. What fools the Northern Power House have been to believe them.

  5. David Speight of HS2 might say that local residents have been informed but people living on the Netherstowe Estate have not been informed about the increase of traffic along what is part of the National cycle network and the difficulties of getting onto onto Eastern Avenue because of heavy traffic. He would point out that Netherstowe Lane is not part of the diversion route but any one looking at a map or knowing the area will use it as an alternative

  6. What has been learnt since building HS1? Nothing. Massive disruption in Kent for years, sky high fares, [min 30% more each trip] with empty trains running, losing a fortune every trip, no pay back ever likely, in fact a very expensive farce.
    HS2 will go the same way, especially with more home working now & increased zoom video conferencing. The traffic issues will go on for years

  7. We are being messed about by HS2 and the long term road works yet Lichfield will not benefit at all from the trains using this line they are going straight through. They only benefit Londoners. We were promised a levelling up in the Midlands and the North all we are getting is not First Class but Third Class. London money talks again in Government.

  8. They forgot to mention the crash on Woodend Lane Saturday evening, 13th Nov, between a coach and the car that was pushed off the road, traffic down this narrow lane is ridiculous, caused by the closure of the A38. Thanks HS2.

  9. Can someone please explain to me why it takes 45 minutes on a train from Birmingham to Lichfield, and circa 25 minutes from Bham to Tamworth? Why are the trains between Birmingham and Lichfield so slow?

  10. @Gary – because Lichfield City to Birmingham New St. has between 9 and 11 stops depending on whether it takes in Shenstone and/or Duddeston. Tamworth to same stops at Wilnecote if at all.

  11. There was never going to be any levelling up for this area, it’s too Tory and they think, probably rightly, that it’s a place for elderly people and commuters to Birmingham in their own cars. So nada for us.
    14 months is excessive and they should compensate residents for this, maybe reduce council tax for example.
    I keep thinking about the Truman Show…getting out of Lichfield is nigh impossible. But which Cllr is acting like Christof?!

  12. Beyond a joke now, hs2 is the biggest mistake ever, what the money could of gone on instead is ridiculous on top of that it going to cause problems for commuters for year. Do you really think it will be 14 months, absolutely no chance. It’s a disgrace.

  13. Gary-it’s not difficult to work out. Bham is further away from Lichfield than Tamworth. Plus there are more stops – this means the train isn’t moving anywhere while people get on and off. This takes time. There are no stops between Tamworth and Lichfield. Yep, it’s that simple.

  14. I have just read about the A38 road closure and this has brought to mind :
    If they can tunnel under the English Channel without closing the busiest shipping lanes in the world and they can tunnel under London to extend the underground rail network with closing London down, WHY OH WHY do they feel the need to close a small slip road in comparison, which in turn will cause mayhem along local roads, it just baffles me ????

  15. The point I’m making for the clueless, is that it should not be taking 45 minutes to get from Lichfield to Birmingham. It’s barely 20 miles. Tamworth is not that much closer, yet it’s almost half the time! It’s ridiculous. There should be some services that have no, or perhaps only 1 or 2, stops. That will encourage far more people to take the train to Birmingham rather than driving. You’re right, it’s not hard guys, is it?

  16. @Gary, I have the answer. We’ll leave the Cross City line as is to serve amongst others the good folk of Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green etc. plus those who wish to travel by train from Lichfield to aforementioned places and build HS3, a direct service from Lichfield to Birmingham, that should take about 15 minutes max.

  17. And @Gary – I may be clueless but I do get your point. A fast train that stops at say Sutton only would be useful. One for West Midlands Trains I’d say.

  18. @ProfessorPineapple, get hung up on the detail if you like, but that still misses my general point. Some trains from Tamworth to Birmingham New St are 18 minutes. That’s half the time it takes from Lichfield! Why don’t they run some services that only have a couple of stops so we can also have much quicker trains to Birmingham New St? That would also mean we could benefit more from HS2. At the moment, it is quicker or just as quick, to drive into Birmingham. Make some of the service (at least some of the trains around rush hour) to New St quicker (i.e. 25 mins or less) and many more people will get the train. Good for the environment too. Don’t understand what’s so difficult about this.

  19. When HS2 is finished it will be quicker to get to Birmingham from Nottingham than it will from Lichfield. That’s crazy. We’re missing a big economic opportunity in my view, which is very easy to rectify.

  20. Road chaos around Lichfield aside, This Hs2 farce has successfully conned the people of the north into thinking they will benefit. They won’t but London sure will ! So the commuters of Manchester and Liverpool can like it and lump it with their under invested outdated transport system. That’s north south divide for you …

  21. @Alex De Large – precisely. I’m not saying every service obviously, as the other stations are still important. But why can’t there be, say, 3 or so trains in the morning rush hour and a few in the evening rush hour each day, which only stop once? Would maKe a big difference in my view. We’d have connectivity times of around 25 minutes to Birmingham city centre = many fewer cars on the road/A38.

  22. Which is what happens on the Metropolitan line, during rush hours they run fast trains that skip some of the intermediate stations heading west.

  23. Being a regular commuter on the Cross City line I would welcome a service that skipped some of the intermediate stations – pre-pandemic there used to be a train that left Lichfield City at 8.10 and ran fast to Four Oaks which knocked about 5 minutes off the journey – hopefully this will be reinstated. However, I suspect that the level of demand from the intermediate stations and capacity constraints around New Street make adding faster services from Lichfield impossible. On the odd occasion I’ve commuted from Tamworth while the service might be quicker I’ve found the morning trains to Birmingham to be full and standing – at least with Lichfield being at the start of the line it’s easy to get a seat. I’d also add that 35-40 mins on the train compares favourably to the time it take to drive from Lichfield to Birmingham which can easily be well over an hour at peak time.

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