£1.5m work on city route's major islands

A £1.5 million project to make major improvements to a busy gateway into a city has been launched.

Workmen have started redesigning the two Wall Islands on the outskirts of Lichfield. Traffic often builds up on both roundabouts during rush-hour in the morning and afternoon.

The scheme is due to take around three months to complete.

The works are part of the Government’s Pitch Point Programme to support Lichfield’s future growth in light of thousands of homes being built over the next 15 years.

County council transport chief Mark Winnington said: “There is often congestion there and when new houses are built it will just get even worse. We are promoting growth in Lichfield. We need to tackle the problem now rather than waiting.”

When the work is finished, the new layout will close off parts of the southern island to redirect the flow of the traffic.

The layout of the northern island will be redesigned to improve the safety and flow of traffic. Widening of lanes will also be carried out on the approach roads to the islands to increase capacity and traffic lights will be installed to reduce queuing. The project is due to finish on June 2.

Around 1,300 homes are being built in Lichfield before 2020. Three possible sites for residential developments include Cricket Lane, Claypit Lane and a former airfield site in Fradley just outside Lichfield.

Earlier this week Staffordshire County Council decided to outsource infrastructure and maintenance work as part of a 10-year contract with public service provider Amey to repair roads, maintain country parks and the grounds of the Shugborough Estate in Stafford. The council says it will save taxpayers £21.5 million over the first five years.