Businesses 'trapped' on industrial park in delays

The work is being carried out as part of a £106m improvement scheme

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Businesses on an industrial park near Coventry say they are getting "trapped" in delays of up to an hour-and-a-half because of a £106m roadworks scheme.

Commuters on the Middlemarch estate said the delays were being caused by a Highways Agency project to create a new road layout at Tollbar Island.

One managing director said he regretted having moved his business to the area from Birmingham.

However, the agency said the work would improve access to the estate.

'Prisoners on the estate'

Steve Finn, managing director of DMG Mori, a company located on the estate, said: "It's very, very poor planning.

"We moved into this area two years ago after closing offices in Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Slough.

"We employ about 100 people, so we are bringing a lot to the area, but now I regret we moved. Staff can't get home. We are prisoners on the estate.

"If we had known about these problems, we would have considered staying in the Birmingham area."

Mr Finn said one worker had handed in his notice because of the delays.

The main work, which began in January, is expected to last until 2016-17.

Paul Nagra, project manager for the Highways Agency, said delays in getting off the estate were a "historical" problem.

"It requires something to be done," he said. "The new scheme will relieve a lot of the congestion and improve access off the estate by building an underpass to take traffic away from the Tollbar Island roundabout."

In the short term, he said, he would try to use traffic signals to reduce delays.

"We are doing everything we can do but there will be congestion in the short term," he said.

Warwickshire County councillor Peter Butlin said the council was aware of the delays and was working with the agency to improve the situation.

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