Aston Expressway is expected to remain closed for most of today (16/05) while bomb disposal experts make safe an unexploded WW2 german bomb.

Construction staff working at a site off Priory Road, Aston, came across the device during routine work at around 9.45am yesterday morning − and it was quickly identified as a German shell weighing up to 500lbs.

A 500-metre cordon was put in place on the advice of explosives experts which has enforced the closure of the A38 both into and out of the city.

Some businesses and houses lying within the exclusion zone have been evacuated as a precaution and rail services continue to be affected.

Birmingham Police Commander Chris Johnson, said: “An initial assessment from Army bomb disposal suggested that this was a large explosive device − that’s why an extensive cordon was put in place for public safety.

“Hundreds of homes were also evacuated and we continue to work with our partners to provide emergency accommodation and regular updates for those affected.

“Army bomb disposal experts have worked throughout the night and continue to work as quickly as possible to bring the situation to a safe conclusion. This is a major, delicate operation for which 250 tonnes of sand has been brought onto the site to assist the bomb disposal plans.

“I fully understand the impact on people’s lives that incidents like this cause. It’s important to remember that brave military staff are risking their safety to ensure that of the public

“I would like to thank the public for their continued understanding and support at this time.”

Disruption is expected to increase at peak times. Please consider whether you need to travel today. If travelling is unavoidable, our advice is to:

  • Avoid driving – walk or cycle if possible (please note the section of the Birmingham & Fazeley towpath from Spaghetti to Aston is currently closed)
  • Avoid travelling at peak times
  • Use alternative routes – these are still likely to be busy (particularly the M5 owing to maintenance work)
  • Consider car sharing
  • Expect delays and leave extra time for your journey