The completion of a multimillion-pound road project to ease congestion in Stafford town centre and lay the foundations for future growth is well on schedule for later this year, according to the county council.
The Stafford Western Access Route construction began in summer 2019. It will enable millions of pounds worth of new housing and business development to take place. The road will also improve traffic flow in the town centre, particularly by the railway station. Construction work has continued throughout the pandemic period.
The latest phase includes strengthening the road over rail bridge at Doxey, due for completion next month. This followed a new section of the road opening in January, linking Doxey to Castlefields, reports The Business Desk.
This week, a new permanent roundabout entrance to the Sainsbury’s store opened to traffic while junction improvements continue at Madford Retail Park, due for completion at the end of May. A new viaduct has been built over the River Sow to provide the connection to Madford Retail Park. Seventy-two steel beams – each weighing 58 tonnes – form the base of the viaduct.
The road is being funded by developers and with £15.5m secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund. Both the county and borough councils also contributed to the scheme.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport David Williams said: “The Stafford Western Access Route is a huge project for the town and Staffordshire, and one of the biggest engineering schemes the county council has undertaken in over a decade.
“To see its development progress in recent months and the commitment and hard work of the team throughout the pandemic period has been fantastic. It will open up development for homes and businesses which will be critical for Stafford’s future growth. We look forward to key milestones being completed in the summer – both the Doxey Road bridge and the viaduct over the river.
“Throughout the scheme the team has carried out comprehensive engagement with communities and businesses – something that has been recognised in the recent industry awards, in addition to recognition of the overall quality of the project.”
The road will link the A34 Foregate Street at Madford Retail Park to the A518 Newport Road Castlefields junction. The road will help improve traffic flow in Gaol Square, Newport Road (east of Kingsway), Station Road, Chell Road, A34 Foregate Street (south of the scheme) and Doxey Road.
The scheme will include improved conditions for bus services, pedestrians and cyclists. There will also be environmental benefits through the redevelopment of areas of derelict land and landscaping along the route.