A £2.7 million project to overhaul the road layout of a town centre in Shropshire is set to gain further approval next week.
The Shifnal scheme, which has been in development since 2013, aims to address the mounting burden placed on the town’s infrastructure by significant housing development in recent years.
Shropshire Council’s cabinet will meet next week and is asked to recommend to the full council that the funding, from money given by developers through community infrastructure levy (CIL) and ‘section 106’ agreements, is agreed, reports the Shropshire Star.
If the project gets full council approval at a meeting the following week, the project will go out to tender with a view to work starting in May next year, taking around a year to complete.
It will include realigning and increasing capacity at key junctions, traffic calming, resurfacing of roads, landscaping and tree planting, pavement improvements and new street furniture.
A report to cabinet by Steve Brown, the council’s head of transport, says: “The growth in development has created local concern in respect of the ability of the current infrastructure to support town growth.
“The town centre improvement project and improvements to the layout and positioning of town centre junctions will enhance the town centre about presentation, public realm in respect of its materials and town centre design.
“The improvements to the town centre and public realm will enhance the existing infrastructure, by improving and in some areas reducing traffic flow and creating a more pedestrian friendly area, that can be utilised for community events and support local businesses.”
Mr Brown says the scheme has been supported by the council’s highways and transport department and Internal Infrastructure Group (IIG), Shifnal Town Council and the town’s unitary councillors.
The report adds: “Should approval be provided, this project will address demands development has placed on the area by improving the local town centre in respect of its public realm, aid the safety and comfort of pedestrians across a range of demographics, and improve the layout of its key highway junctions to support the scheme.”
The scheme has been scaled back from initial plans put forward in 2015 after it was accepted that there would not be enough funding to cover the estimated £3.5 to £4 million cost.
The finalised project aims to ease congestion and slow vehicles down as they approach the junction joining Aston Street, Victoria Road, Bradford Street and Market Place.
Traffic-calming measures will be introduced, including replacing the Victoria Road traffic lights with a zebra crossing and raising the surface of the road.
The scheme will also see footpath and highway improvements between south of Church Street on the A464 to the Bradford Street/Shrewsbury Road junction. Additional landscaping and public seating areas will also be included.