What is happening?
St Modwen has been granted planning permission to build more than 100 new homes locally and needs to construct a site entrance, change the existing road layout and install utilities as part of the scheme.
Although this is not a county council project, as the highways authority we have duty to facilitate these works and we have been working closely with the developer, the contractor and Highways England to finalise the scheme.
The plans have now been revised to allow the A521 to remain partially open to traffic where possible.
What improvements will be taking place?
Improvements to the dual carriageway and utility connections along with a new pedestrian crossing to help people cross the road safely and new pavements to link to the village.
When are they happening?
The improvement works began on Monday 7 October and take around 19 or 20 weeks to complete, including some additional traffic management in the New Year.
What will they involve?
One lane of the A521 will be kept open where possible. (From the junction of the A50 roundabout to its junction with the A521 Uttoxeter Road).
The work will be carried out in three phases:
- Phase One - Eastbound - Completed on 16 December and now fully open to traffic.
- Phase Two - Uttoxeter Road - This will begin on Monday 6 January and operate a set of three way lights at the junction of Uttoxeter Road and A521, there will be a lane closed on the Eastbound Carriageway as there will be no access to Uttoxeter Road from this direction, the access point will be from the Westbound Carriageway cross over point. Uttoxeter Road will be closed to HGVs from this direction, however, buses will have access maintained for them. During Phase Two a lane will also be closed on the Westbound Carriageway as there have been excavation works taking place ahead of Phase Three. Phase Two is now programmed to finish early on 21 January.
Phase Three - Westbound - Full Closure with diversion from 22 January to 13 March. Eastbound Carriageway will remain open.
At times, a full closure of the A521 in both directions will still be needed to carry out certain works. Signed diversions will be in place.
Map of diversion (1.45 MB)
Frequently asked questions
Will there be a full closure?
One lane of the A521 will be kept open where possible but at times, a full closure in both directions will still be needed to carry out certain works such as excavation through rock and works to the drainage system, to minimise risk to the public and crews.
Why can’t you work faster or work around the clock?
Working around the clock would cause significant and unacceptable noise disruption to residents and we also understand the local concerns about the impact a full closure would have on Blythe Bridge and the surrounding areas. Engineers have managed to come up with a proposal which will keep the A521 partially open much as possible. This means the scheme will take longer to complete but will ease congestion for nearby residents.
We will be working closely with the developer to make sure the work is done as efficiently as possible, with its crews working six days a week to get the job done as quickly as possible.
This is going to cause major disruption in Blythe Bridge
We have worked with St Modwen to keep the A521 partially open as much as possible. A signed diversion will be in place when both lanes need to be closed.
Contractors will work six days a week from around 7:30am to 8pm at the latest depending on the nature of the works. In addition, we will explore the possibility of offering off-street parking to improve traffic flow through Blythe Bridge.
What about traffic from out of the immediate area?
Identification and advance warning signs will also be at locations away from Blythe Bridge, e.g. at Tean advising for example of closure of A521.
What about emergency services?
Emergency services have been made aware and blue light vehicles would make their way through congestion as they do routinely.
What if there is an accident on the A50?
If there is an incident on the A50 Highways England will implement strategic signing at key junctions such as A500/A50 and A38/A50, M1/A50. One lane will also be open the vast majority of the time.
I have a further question
If you have any further questions, you can email A521scheme@staffordshire.gov.uk and the team will do their best to help.