CONTROVERSIAL measures on the M5 between Droitwich and Bromsgrove aimed at encouraging people to use alternative routes and other modes of transport while the work on the Oldbury viaduct is carried out have been removed.
The ‘contraflow’ from Junction 5 to 4a was criticised in Worcestershire by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and Bromsgrove District Council leader Coun Geoff Denaro.
They said it affected 60,000 journeys-a-day, meant motorists were driving an extra 20 miles via the M42 and led to significant tailbacks.
Now Highways England has removed the measures, which has been welcomed by Mr Campion and Coun Denaro.
Mr Campion said: “I am pleased that our concerns have now been listened to, and that our communities can finally benefit from the M5 improvements.
“These roadworks caused an unjustifiable strain, particularly on Bromsgrove residents who should have been unaffected by the improvements further into Birmingham, and who have already endured lengthy periods of disruption.”
Coun Denaro added: “These roadworks have been an inconvenience and I am sure our residents, like myself, are delighted they have come to an end.”
Highways England Midlands Regional Director Catherine Brookes said: “These measures were always designed to encourage people to use alternative routes and different methods of transport while work takes place on the M5 at Oldbury.
“The latest traffic data available to us shows that people have heeded our advice and subsequently we have seen more people using the M42 as an alternative route.
“The traffic on Sandwell’s road network has adapted well to the disruption, and we have seen a switch in modes of transport, such as an increase in train travel.
“While this vital repair work continues, we’d like to thank people for their patience and ask them to continue using alternative transport arrangements.”
Highways England is currently carrying out essential repair work on the M5 Oldbury viaduct which is due to finish by the spring.
The move to bring the contraflow to an end came about following discussions between Highways England and the local authorities.