Today I went to the official opening of the Selly Oak New Road by Norman Baker MP, Minister for Transport, and Birmingham’s Transport Cabinet Member, Cllr Tim Huxtable.
The road is now called Aston Webb Boulevard because it goes along past Birmingham University (on the borders of Edgbaston and Selly Oak Wards) and connects to the Hospital Link Road (now called New Fosse Way) via a new roundabout junction.
The opening of Phase 2 completes the link from Harborne Lane to Bristol Road – missing out the congested part of Bristol Rd as it runs through the centre of Selly Oak. Further works at the Selly Oak Triangle are planned to tie in with the proposed mixed use development on the Battery Site.
The aqueduct and rail bridge have been delivered through partnership working between the Council, main contractor Birse Civils Ltd, British Waterways and Network Rail. The project team worked to a tight programme constrained by the limited availability of canal and railway closure dates (it was done over Christmas 2010).
To start the afternoon we were taken on an open top bus ride along the new road. Then Cllr Huxtable and Mr Baker made speeches before posing for pictures as they carried the plaque they had just unveiled, across the new road as it passes beside the University’s Grange Gate.