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Drivers face delays as main Black Country road closed

Dudley | News | Published:

Motorists will face six weeks of delays and diversions when a main route is closed for rail improvement work.

Improvements are being carried out at the level crossing in Noose Lane, Willenhall, and is due to start later this month.

A road closure is expected to be in place throughout the scheme as part of the resignalling of the railway being undertaken through Network Rail.

A diversion route is being finalised ahead of work getting under way on July 19, but there are concerns it will lead to traffic being forced into residential areas.

Willenhall councillor Ian Shires said: "It is going to create issues. It is an inconvenience for people.

"But at the end of the day, once it is done and finished it will improve the use of it and the safety aspect of it. There are quite a lot of cars that cut through Noose Lane."

Spokesman for Network Rail, Jon Crampton, said: "As part of the resignalling of the railway in the Wolverhampton area, Noose Lane level crossing will be closed from July 19 until September.

"The crossing equipment will be renewed and more modern and reliable signalling equipment installed.

"The resignalling project is part of our commitment to provide a more reliable, efficient and safe railway and we thank people in advance for their patience while we complete the work."

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It comes as there are proposals to permanently close Bloxwich Level Crossing as part of the £30 million electrification of the Chase Line.

It has been earmarked to shut for safety reasons, as trains are set to travel at up to 70mph under the £30 million scheme.

One of the steps put forward to help the area deal with the proposed closure is to reconstruct the nearby Central Drive bridge.

Work to widen the bridge could now start in December, subject to final confirmation and consultation with the public later this year.

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Other steps being looked at include a footbridge where the current crossing is located and improving the Central Drive and Croxstalls Road junction to encourage traffic away from the Dudley Fields estate.

The speed of the line is due to increase from 50mph to 75mph.

Although it would cause traffic to re-route in the area the alternative would mean level crossing barriers being down for 40 minutes per hour at peak times - twice as long as they are currently.

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