A new link road between the M54 and M6 Toll would be a ‘massive boost’ for commuters, an MP said today – but he insisted nearby villagers must be given a say before it is built.
The proposals for the new carriageway took a step forward today after being listed as part of the Government’s £100 billion package of measures to boost the economy.
A document released by Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander says the Government is ‘committed to funding’ the project – but says final details and contributions from developers need to be agreed.
South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson said the new road would be welcomed by drivers using the busy routes.
But he added: “My main concern is that any road that is built has the least impact possible on residents in Featherstone and the local area, and this is what I will continue to push for.
“It would be a massive boost for drivers in the area as this is an incredibly busy and congested route and I am sure that people in Featherstone want to see something done,” he added.
Three options were originally drawn up by the Highways Agency for the scheme.
Two of the options would see a new road built between Featherstone and Hilton Park.
But South Staffs Council is refusing to support building a new road through Featherstone to link the motorways and will instead back creating a new slip road to let cars go north from the M54 at junction 10A.
Officials at the authority have said the option of directing traffic to the M6 would be the ‘least damaging in environmental and social terms’.
Council leader Brian Edwards today said: “The council’s position has not changed and that is still the option that we will support.
“At the moment it seems the plans are still hypothetical and until we know exactly what is being done it is difficult to judge what the effect will be.”
Mr Williamson said he wanted Midland Expressway, the operators of the M6 Toll, to contribute ‘a substantial amount of money’ to the development and added: “Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money will be spent on this and it is only fair that they should also contribute.”
It comes as Mr Williamson continues to campaign for the M54 to be resurfaced to cut down on noise levels.
The Government recently said it would back the work but money needed to be found first.
The plans have not been included in today’s latest round of spending, which Mr Williamson called ‘disappointing’, but he added: “I would hope that cash funding will be found at some point in the future as I think this would be hugely important for residents who are having to put up with high noise levels.”
A £36 million flyover and revamp of junction two is being built by Wolverhampton City Council and Staffordshire County Council.
It is seen as a crucial part of the deal to attract the luxury car maker to the i54, and will connect to the business park.Subscribe to our Newsletter