Plans approved to tackle town centre supermarket bottleneck

A supermarket’s plans to tackle a Stone town centre bottleneck have been given the green light by Stafford Borough Council.

A Google Street View image of vehicles queuing to turn onto the A520 Christchurch Way from Mill Street in Stone
A Google Street View image of vehicles queuing to turn onto the A520 Christchurch Way from Mill Street in Stone

Customers leaving the Morrisons car park at busy times have faced delays in getting onto the town’s ring road in recent years, which has led to complaints and defrosted goods.

Last year the supermarket chain applied for permission to add an extra lane to the westbound Mill Street exit onto Christchurch Way and introduce signals at the crossroad junction to reduce congestion.Earlier this month the plans were approved by borough council planning officers.

An officers’ report said: “The proposed development would increase vehicular capacity of the junction of Mill Street and Christchurch Way, would not result in any adverse impact upon the safe and efficient operation of the highway network and therefore should not be refused on highways grounds.

“The most significant potential impact upon the character and appearance of the surrounding area relate to the loss of trees, which act as a filter to views of modern urban development and soften the landscape around the junction. Replacement planting can be secured by condition.”

Members of Stone Town Council, who have highlighted the traffic issues on a number of occasions, welcomed the proposals when they were put forward.

Councillor Jim Davies said: “What it does is give us an idea of the confidence that Morrisons have in having their store in Stone that they’re prepared to make this investment. There’s a problem with people being stranded in the Morrisons car park for 40 minutes or more while their frozen food is defrosting in their car.”

Councillor Jill Hood said: “I’m glad Morrisons have put their heads above the parapet. It’s going to go a long way to help people get onto and off the Morrisons site, particularly on bank holidays when everyone is queuing to get off.

“So many people come from surrounding areas to shop there and that brings them into town and spending money in the High Street.”

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