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£10m upgrade for congested Longbridge junction

Area in south Birmingham blighted by delays for years looks set to be given some welcome relief with new traffic and public transport measures

River Rea running through Austin Park in Longbridge town centre

Traffic congestion at a busy Birmingham road junction is to be targeted in a £10.6 million transport upgrade for Longbridge.

Three junctions on Longbridge Lane, including with the busy A38 Bristol Road South which has been blighted by severe delays, are to be remodelled.

There are also set to be improvements to Longbridge Station, bus stops and cycle routes through the area.

According to a report to next week's council cabinet meeting the updgrades will lead to improvements for 600 drivers each peak rush hour, resulting 'in a 40 per cent reduction in journey time and 60 per cent reduction in delays through the area'.

In October, local councillor Andy Cartwright said he had been inundated with complaints over the traffic and even the major Sainsbury's store said congestion was an issue for its customers.

The upgrades, to be started next May and finished in summer 2017, are mostly funded by the the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Longbridge developer St Modwen.

City transport chief Coun Tahir Ali said: "This scheme will greatly increase transport connectivity for this part of Birmingham. These improvement works are expected to have a significant positive impact on journey times and delays through the Longbridge area, benefiting motorists as well as those using public transport.

"As part of this scheme, we are also making improvements which will benefit cyclists and rail travellers too, supporting our commitment to enhancing connectivity across Birmingham."

They include:

* Upgrading the existing railway station to ensure it is fit for purpose

* Improving the existing bus interchange, including upgrading five stops on Longbridge Lane and three on Bristol Road South

* Improving connectivity to strategic routes by addressing pinch points and reducing congestion on Longbridge Lane and Bristol Road South

* Extending the traffic-free cycle route along the River Rea to Tessall Lane to accommodate the diversion of the National Cycle Network Route 5 through Longbridge

* Signage to help pedestrians find their way around Longbridge railway station and to better connect with local bus stops

* Expanding park and ride by doubling capacity to 223 spaces

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