Posted on Thursday 7th January 2021
David Williams at the Stafford Western Access Route site
A new section of the multi-million-pound road project which will support growth and ease congestion in Stafford opens this month.
Work to build the Stafford Western Access Route 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 safely throughout the pandemic period.
Now the first section connecting Castlefields to Doxey is set to open, including a new roundabout on the newly aligned Doxey Road. The section, which has been named Unicorn Way after the former Saint Gobain building demolished to make way for the road, will link Doxey Road to Martin Drive in Castlefields.
The opening of Unicorn Way will coincide with the start of works on the Doxey Road railway bridge. During these works, which are scheduled to begin the week beginning January 18, the bridge will be closed to all traffic but remain open to pedestrians and cyclists. This phase of the scheme is set to be completed in mid-June 2021, when the bridge will reopen to traffic.
Traffic will be diverted from Doxey Road along the new Unicorn Way and onto Martin Drive, before joining Newport Road.
Meanwhile work continues on installation of the new road over river bridge providing the connection between Madford Retail Park and the section towards Doxey Road. Seventy-two steel beams – each weighing 58 tonnes – will form the base of the bridge over the River Sow.
The road is being funded by developers and with £15.5million 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.
Drone footage of the project site can be seen here: https://youtu.be/nee8gstjGQI
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.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport David Williams said: “Opening Unicorn Way – the connection of the route from Doxey to Castlefields and Newport Road – is another major milestone for the scheme. This has seen the realignment of the Doxey Road, creation of the new roundabout and construction of the new section to Martin Drive.
“The opening of this section allows for work on the Doxey Road railway bridge to begin, which will see it strengthened and resurfaced. Unfortunately, while this takes place over five months from mid-January, the bridge will have to be completely closed to traffic. This is necessary to ensure the scheme is completed on schedule and we have communicated to affected communities.
“The Stafford Western Access Route is a huge project for the county town and for Staffordshire. It is critical for Stafford’s future growth and so to see the progress so far – particularly considering pandemic restrictions – is rewarding to the county council, communities and our businesses.”
Anyone wanting further information about the Stafford Western Access Route can email email@example.com
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.