Months of Walsall Road works on way as new island is built

Eight months of roadworks are planned for a busy route in Staffordshire as part of work to build a roundabout at the entrance to a new private cemetery.

Months of Walsall Road works on way as new island is built

Drivers have been warned of delays on the A461 Walsall Road, leading to the busy Muckley Corner junction.

Work is expected to get under way on Monday and is poised to take eight months, weather permitting.

A three-arm roundabout is being created at the entrance to the new 30,000-plot Springhill Cemetery, along dual carriageway Walsall Road.

It will leave motorists facing lane closures and a reduction in the speed limit from 60 mph to 30 mph along the road from its junction with Barracks Lane up to the busy island at Muckley Corner. Walsall Road is the main route linking Lichfield and Shire Oak and Brownhills.

Wall parish council chairman John Crowe said: "It is a very busy road and this is going to cause an additional bottleneck for drivers and perhaps cause extra problems on surrounding country roads as people try to avoid it.

"It is going to be very difficult for drivers for the next few months on this stretch of road."

Bosses at Springhill Cemetery Group said they understood the work would create problems for drivers but said ultimately, it would make the road safer in the long term.

Kamran Saleem, sales and administration manager, said: "We know the island is going to cause disruption and we did look into other options. But we do hope in the end it makes this stretch of road safer as studies were undertaken and showed that drivers were going faster than the 60mph limit here."

The 36-acre Springhill Cemetery site was bought in 2004 for £680,000 by the Springhill Cemetery Group and construction will cost around £3 million to £4m. More than 4,000 plots have already been snapped up at the site, which is due to open around June.

Ten jobs are poised to be created and recruitment will start towards the end of this year.

Growing pressure on burial spaces across Staffordshire and the Black Country has prompted an increase in the number of private burial grounds in the region.

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