That’s the question we asked the six candidates vying to become the first West Midlands Mayor next month.
The answers ranged from well known commuter routes like Hagley Road, the M6 at junction 10 and Bromford Island to the lesser known Heathfield Road area of Handsworth.
Traffic congestion is thought to cost the region’s economy £2.2 billion a year as deliveries and staff sit in jams and arrive late. While the choking pollution from vehicles , particularly around city centres and busy motorway junctions is responsible for about 1,500 deaths a year.
Whoever is elected as mayor on May 4 will take control of strategic transport planning and investment across the region - including £4.4 billion to invest in HS2 related links including new rail and metro lines.
And they are as familiar with the city’s chronic grid-locked roads:
- Beverley Nielsen (Lib Dem) Hagley Road - ‘particularly poor’
- Sion Simon (Lab) - junction of M6 and M42 - 'incredibly difficult’
- Pete Durnell (UKIP) - junction 10 of the M6 must be ‘one of the worst in the country’
- Graham Stevenson (Communist) - Heathfield Road, Handsworth - it’s completely bogged in
- Andy Street (Conservative) - Holloway Head ‘it sends me bonkers - it’s not designed to work’
- James Burn (Green) - Bromford Island - ‘I end up sitting there pretty regularly’
We asked them what they would do and while Mr Simon would nationalise M6 Toll, Mr Durnell thinks that is unlikely to be allowed and so would negotiate cheap rates for HGVs to get them off the M6 through the Birmingham and Black Country.
Mr Burn wants to get some of the disused train lines reopen as he’d rather read a book or play with his phone on a train than be stuck behind the wheel, and Mr Stephenson too want more emphasis on public transport.
Mr Street would rethink Holloway Head entirely and Ms Nielsen wants to see more user friendly apps and charge card systems for trains and buses.Voters in Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Coventry go to the polls to elect the first ever West Midlands Mayor on Thursday, May 4.
The mayor will lead the West Midlands Combined Authority taking on devolved powers and funding over transport, housing, jobs and skills and mental health.