Proposals to widen one of the country's busiest motorway junctions are now out for consultation.
The roundabout at M6 Junction 10 is being revamped as part of Walsall Council and Highways England's plans to tackle congestion problems and resultant delays at peak times in and around Walsall.
The scheme is estimated to cost around £65m, with Highways England and the Black Country LEP sharing the costs. The LEP secured the funding through the DfT's Local Growth Deal for the Black Country in July 2014. Work will begin on site in 2018 and will take around 2 years to complete.
Two design options have now been produced and members of the public are being invited to have their say on the proposals, alongside other designs that have been considered.
Councillor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader for Walsall Council said: "Junction 10 is a very busy junction between Walsall and Wolverhampton and is on one of the busiest sections of motorway in Europe. There are long delays on the A454 Black Country Route, Wolverhampton Road and motorway slip roads.
"The aim of this scheme is to cut down on the chronic congestion that cripples the island and motorway during rush hour. Both proposals are to increase the width of the junction from two lanes to four.
"We're not messing around the edges; this is a brand new junction.
"This won't be a quick and simple solution to a problem that's been building for decades. There will need to be some patience while work is taking place."
"We have to get it spot on, pure and simple and that's why we're seeking public involvement."
It is anticipated that the new junction will reduce travelling time for businesses in the area and unlock the potential for land in the cluster sites of the Black Country Enterprise Zone, adding to the investment and creating jobs.
"Improving the road network in this area will support our drive to deliver the Darlaston area of the Enterprise Zone, which we reckon can create in the region of 2,000 jobs. There's demand for land in the area and the sites around J10 are attractive to investors given their location at the centre of the UK motorway network."
Paul Unwin, programme manager for the Regional Investment Programme at Highways England said: "We're investing £1.2bn to improve journeys across the Midlands in the next 5 years and big improvements at Junction 10 are an important part of our programme.
"We've worked closely with Walsall Council to draft a variety of designs and we now want to hear what the public think. This consultation is all about getting feedback from residents and businesses about these proposals to ensure we come up with the best possible solution."
There are a number of ways to take part in the consultation.
You can review the design options and take part in the consultation online by visiting www.walsall.gov.uk/m6j10.
Follow Walsall Transport on Facebook and Twitter @WalsallTransprt for updates.
Officers from Walsall Council and Highways England will hold drop-in events for residents, road users and businesses to have their say at the following dates, times and venues:
· Saturday 5 December 2015 10am to 2pm – Holliday Inn, Wolverhampton Road West, near J10
· Monday 7 December 2015 2pm to 8pm – The Village Hotel, Tempus Drive, near J10
· Wednesday 9 December 2015 10am to 4pm – The New Art Gallery, Walsall Town Centre
Did you know?
Junction 10 was originally designed to cope with up to 6,500 vehicles per hour but surpassed this target in 2012. It now carries an average of 8,000 vehicles each hour during peak periods.
The proposed major improvement is designed to carry in excess of 10,000 vehicles per hour.
Up to 150,000 vehicles travel on the section of the M6 motorway between J9 and J10 every day.
Traffic growth is expected to rise by 36% by 2031.
Based on a 2031 growth year the implemented scheme would not have the capacity where the junction would be carrying an average of 10,000 vehicles per hour.
Wolverhampton Road (A454) has an annual average daily flow of 21,000 vehicles and the Black Country Route has an annual daily flow of 48,000 vehicles.