Final section of multimillion-pound road project opens
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A multimillion-pound project to support Stafford’s regeneration has been completed and is now open to traffic.
The Stafford Western Access Route aims to ease congestion in the town centre, particularly by the rail station, and is supporting residential and commercial development.
Construction of the £63m project began in summer 2019.
The final section crossing a new viaduct, which has been built over the River Sow to provide the connection to Madford retail park and the A34 Foregate Street.
Seventy-two steel beams – each weighing 58 tonnes – form the base of the viaduct.
The project has included the restoration of a former car park into marshland wildlife habitat, flood compensation works, plantation of more than 2,000 trees and the creation of 2.2km of cycling routes.
The road has been funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund, as well as developers and both the county and borough councils.
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. Marking its completion highlights what an achievement this has been for all the partners involved.
“This project is playing a major part in supporting the county town’s future growth – unlocking development sites for new homes, businesses and community facilities.
“Furthermore, it will ease town centre congestion which impacts the local economy before we see new projects progressing, including the Stafford Gateway and HS2 links to the town.
“The team has worked hard throughout the pandemic period to keep the scheme on schedule, and we have ensured there has been comprehensive engagement with communities and businesses throughout which has been extremely important. We’d again like to thank nearby residents for their understanding while work has taken place and to all partners who have made the project a success.”
LEP chairman Alun Rogers said: “The Stafford Western Access Route is one of our major successes which will deliver growth, attract investment and support job creation for our communities.
“It will play an important role in our longer-term economic recovery. The completed route will complement the Stafford Gateway project and our future HS2 connections.
“The project demonstrates to people, business, future investors and the Government the successful working across the public and private sectors in Staffordshire.”
The road links 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.