THE man at the heart of the Redditch Eastern Gateway project has given a robust defence of the multi-million scheme.
Worcestershire County Councillor Dr Ken Pollock (Con, Tenbury Wells), who chairs the board to progress the development, said any increase in traffic from the site would be minimal with penalties in place for any tenant or their employee who departs from the agreed travel plan.
“All tenants will need to produce a travel plan indicating which direction their vehicles will go,” he said.
“The most sensible direction will be up the A435 to junction 3 of the M42 which will be seeing £3m in improvements from Highways England.
“If someone needs to go south, then yes we do want them to go through Redditch, but I do not think that will be a very high percentage.”
He added residents in Studley and Mappleborough Green were worrying unnecessarily about any large increase in HGV traffic along the A435.
“We think some of the concerns are being overplayed.
“We will be erecting a whole series of cameras with ANPR (number plate recognition) and anyone who is found to have business on the Eastern Gateway and who has broken the agreement can be interrogated and disciplined.”
He added traffic heading south towards the M5 would be able to access the motorway at junction 4 at Wychbold with the Bromsgrove Highway / A38 junction also earmarked for major improvements.
“There are different ways without causing great distress to people in residential areas,” he added.
He added money from the developer could help pay for any modifications that might be needed to the Redditch road network, particularly at the Crabbs Cross island.
He also dismissed any suggestion his role as chairman of the Redditch Eastern Gateway Steering Group and his role as chairman of the board progressing the development resulted in a conflict of interest.
“The chairman of any group needs to be neutral – it doesn’t always happen – but there is no danger of that on my behalf so from my point of view I do not see a problem.
“Besides, the Steering Group is made up of stakeholders and is not a decision-making body so there will be no instance of me having a casting vote.”