'Find an alternative' - Protestors want Spon End road-widening scheme scrapped by council - The Coventry Observer

15th Aug, 2022

'Find an alternative' - Protestors want Spon End road-widening scheme scrapped by council

PROTESTORS fighting controversial Coventry City Council plans to widen a road in Spon End have stopped work being carried out on the scheme.

The proposals – to make the B4106 from Hearsall Lane to Windsor Street four lanes wide – is part of the authority’s Air Quality Action Plan put forward to reduce pollution and prevent the introduction of a congestion charge similar to London, Birmingham and other cities.

But campaigners say as well as impacting on residents’ lives by bringing traffic closer to their homes the ‘quick fix’ will ‘simply move air pollution around’ rather than solving the issue.

Protestors climbed trees and set up camp, leading to work being temporarily suspended.

One resident Jane Garner has lived in a listed cottage in the area for 50 years and her family have been there for more than a century.

She said: “We already get black pollution particles in our homes from the traffic fumes but at least the cars parked outside provide a buffer.

“We have no gardens so our homes will be right next to the road used by cars, buses and HGVs, meaning more pollution.”

She added her mum died of lung cancer in 2019 and her dad – who used to be very active – passed away last year with Alzheimer’s, adding air pollution had been linked to both conditions.

“Spon End used to have a lovely community where everyone knew everyone and in our back gardens and other areas you would not know you were just a mile from Coventry city centre.

“These days we are just a place to pass through as people head into the city.

“If they increase the number of lanes, there will just be more space for motorists to fill with their vehicles.

“It is doing nothing to dissuade drivers from using their cars.”

Instead she said the council should create a park and ride with reasonable fares, help more companies encourage home-working or introduce car-share schemes.

And she added if the scheme must go ahead, the council needed to either compulsory purchase her property and others or provide compensation as the buildings would be unsellable.

She warned residents in nearby areas that they too could face similar battles in the future.

“For example, long-term, the Old Allesley Road could be a ‘ready-made dual carriageway’ – they introduce these things bit by bit and we don’t know what will happen next.”

We contacted Coventry City Council but it had not provided a response at the time of going to press.

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