Residents living in the shadow of a proposed new link road between two motorways have backed the plans - because they will help alleviate traffic pollution, local councillors said yesterday.
The new link road from the M54 to the M6 and the M6 Toll, which is due to open in 2012, would help tackle traffic congestion on the A460, which is currently being used by motorists who want to get between the motorways, said Coun John Brindle.
The South Staffordshire councillor said residents were being choked by traffic fumes from stationary vehicles using the busy thoroughfare.
The A460, which links Junction 1 of the M54 and Junction 11 of the M6, is the only direct route for motorists travelling north from the M54 to the M6.
Coun Brindle (Lab Featherstone and Shareshill) said: "We do not have any NIMBYs around here.
"The A460 is a car park from 6.30am to 6.30pm, especially since motorists have been using satellite navigation tools.
"People would not believe the congestion we have had to put up with in this community. The A460 is a mini M25. It is the children who are suffering most.
"We had a pollution survey recently which showed we have high rates of CO2 emissions. We are one of only two areas in south Staffordshire to have an environmental order placed on us.
"The new link road will have fast moving cars going through, which will not cause as much harm to the local community as stationary traffic."
Coun Brindle was speaking after three different 'concepts' for the new link road were put on public display for the first time.
He was among a group of local councillors who were given a presentation by Highways Agency officials about the plans.
Coun Ivor Clay (Con Brewood and Coven), who represents residents who live two miles away from the proposed road, said few people were against the plans.
"We have known for a long time that this is something that has got to happen because of the traffic problems," he said. "We just wish they had done it 24 years ago."
The new link road, which could be a dual carriageway, is to be built with profits from Britain's first toll motorway.
The operators of the M6 Toll donated £112 million to fund a raft of road improvements after the road was deemed a financial success.
Macquarie Infrastructure Group negotiated improved terms with its financial backers after making operating profits of £16 million last year, despite a massive fall in the number of vehicles using the road. The three different concepts outlined by the HA are intended to relieve congestion on the A460, A449 and A5.
Officials will announce a preferred route in early 2008 and issue the final plans the following year. Construction is set to begin in early 2011 and the road is set to be opened in 2012.
A presentation was held by the HA at Featherstone yesterday and two other displays will be held at Essington Community Centre, Hobnock Road, Essington today and Cheslyn Hay Village Hall, Pinfold Lane, Cheslyn Hay tomorrow.
Highways Agency project leader Paul Nagra said: "We hope people will come along to the exhibitions to learn more about the processes and the scheme proposals, and put questions to our project team."
Anyone who wants to comment on the scheme should call 08457 504030 or email email@example.com