MP wants face-to-face debate with councillor over flyover demolition.
Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Political Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
MP Khalid Mahmood has challenged the councillor overseeing plans to demolish the Perry Barr flyover to justify the proposal in a faceto-face debate.
Mr Mahmood, Perry Barr's MP, wants Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham's Cabinet Member responsible for transport, to explain to residents why the city council insists on removing the A34 flyover before the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
He has called for a debate, in the constituency, where both sides of the argument can make their case.
Mr Mahmood said: "Virtually every resident is against this plan. It will not improve their lives one bit.
"And it will actually undermine Birmingham City Council's attempts to cut air pollution, because what you'll see is vehicles stopping at traffic lights, which increases emissions. There has been no consultation about this at a local level. But if Councillor Zaffar thinks I'm wrong then he should come and say so, and make his case directly to the local residents."
But it appears Coun Zaffar is declining to take up the offer.
The Birmingham Mail asked him for a response and received a statement from a Birmingham City Council spokesman.
The spokesman said: "We are currently consulting on improvements to the A34 at Perry Barr, including the removal of the flyer.
"If he has not already done so, we would encourage Khalid Mahmood to take part in this consultation, where he is also welcome to put forward any alternative suggestions he might have to effectively manage traffic flow in an area which will see significant investment and regeneration."
The city council's PS27.1 million proposals include removing the A34 Perry Barr flyover in favour of putting all traffic on to a dual carriageway at ground level.
If approved, the work would take two years until the end of 2021 to complete - roughly when the Westside Midland Metro extension up Broad Street will finally reach Hagley Road via Five Ways, as part of a four-year scheme affecting traffic access into and out of Birmingham from Edgbaston. West Midlands mayor Andy Street has criticised the plans, saying the Perry Barr work would cause "significant disruption" and "make traffic marginally worse" once completed.
Residents can give their views by visiting the Birmingham Be Heard website before consultation closes on Friday, July 19.
The Perry Barr flyover