A Walsall women whose son has autism and severe learning difficulties says any changes to the road layout near her home could be disastrous for him.
Lin Lloyd is a carer for her 30-year old son Daniel. They have lived on Walsall Road, in Great Barr for 34 years. Lin is concerned proposals for a sprint bus along A34 through Perry Barr might upset his routine, causing him to self-harm. She also fears she might have to sell their house.
She attended a public meeting of concerned residents protesting against plans for sprint buses during the 2022 Commonwealth Games. West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Travel aim to remove the hard shoulder along the A34 between Birmingham and Walsall, and replace it with a new bus lane.
“The councillors should have gone round to the homes who had people with disabilities and spoke to them to see what help they needed and if they needed their car park. After living here for 34 years we may have to sell our home.”Lin Lloyd
Lin was emotional as she addressed the public meeting to say how valuable the space to park outside her house is for her carers, who look after her son day and night.
Over 200 people turned out to the meeting at Badshah Palace Restaurant last Saturday morning. They included business owners, local residents and councillors.
Campaign organiser, Annette Pereira, claims there has been no consultation amongst local people. She believes removing the hard shoulder will endanger lives, and further pollute the environment.
“it’s a waste of money on an articulated bus, and every city who has installed them got rid as they are dangerous, burst into flames and break down easily. In addition, lack of seating will have passengers standing from Birmingham to Walsall.”Annette Pereira
She urges council representatives to listen to local people and answer their questions.
Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, also attended the meeting. He addressed the crowd, claiming that only one person in the room had admitted they received a consultation paper.
“The mayor and his people think on this project they can carry on telling us lies and we believe them. And it is time that us politicians did what we say and not talk about it.”
According to a statement from West Midlands Combined Authority, 73% of the 574 people who commented on the A34 route either partially or fully supported it. 24% do not support, with the remainder undecided. A petition from the A34 Safety Action Group calling for the Sprint to be dropped was signed by 586 people.
Campaigners say they will continue to fight until they have been heard.