Express & Star

A449 roadworks return after Christmas and New Year break: Find out how it affects your journey along Stafford Road

Motorists face more ‘pain’ as the next stage of a major roadworks project starts on Stafford Road as many workers return after the Christmas and New Year break.

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Traffic on the A449 during recent roadworks

Roadworks start along Stafford Road on Tuesday, January 2, in the latest stage of the 18-month long scheme on the A449.

Delays are expected in and out of Wolverhampton on the busy route to the junction with the M54.

This is the latest stage of the £6.4m scheme which first started at the end of October.

Works paused before Christmas but the next stage is due to run from January. The whole project is due to be completed in spring 2019.

What are the works on the A449 Stafford Road and why are they taking place?

The aim of the £6.4 million scheme is to support job generation and business growth by making improvements to reduce congestion on along Stafford Road.

The A449 provides access to major employment sites, including i54, Wolverhampton Business Park, and the Junction 2 employment area.

The scheme aims to introduce:

  • additional right turn lanes to improve safety and reduce delays

  • increase the number of vehicles able to use junctions, including dedicated turn lanes helping to reduce emissions from standing traffic

  • improved links between traffic lights, including at M54 Junction 2

  • improved pedestrian crossings from shops at the Milldale area and additional customer car parking

  • improved cycle routes in the road and the completion of the cycle path from the city to M54, Junction 2, and vice versa

  • a reduction in noise through an improved road surface

  • measures near homes to stop commuter parking

Workers have chopped down 46 trees in order to widen the road.

A council spokesman said: “The works include the reduction of the existing central reservation and western service road verge to widen the road.

“This unfortunately means the loss of 46 trees ranging in size, which will be recycled.

“To compensate for the loss, Wolverhampton council will be planting almost 300 new trees in the area."

The trees that have been cut down on the Stafford Road central reservation

What does Wolverhampton council say about the scheme and how is it being funded?

The scheme is being funded by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership 'Local Growth Fund' and follows a six-month consultation with nearby residents and businesses.

Speaking of the roadworks, Councillor Daniel Warren, Labour councillor for Bushbury North, said: “I think it’s a case of short term pain for long term gain.

“I understand that some residents and drivers will be frustrated but ultimately this work will mean that they can get to home and work quicker and easier.

“The thought of 18 months of works does seem like a long time, but it will be worth it when we consider this is the main artery to the north of Wolverhampton and any improvements to it should be embraced.

“Ultimately, this work will only affect a small area and the service road that fronts UTC, a sandwich factory and other small distribution firms so that the slip road can be extended and lanes widened.

“It’ll also only take place between 9am and 3pm so not during peak times either. This will encourage people to invest in the city and ensure we continue to thrive.”

The junction of the A449 Stafford Road and Broadlands where 18 months of road works are due to start in the new year

What diversions are in place during the Stafford Road works?

As part of the work, the Broadlands area will be closed in both directions between its junction with Stafford Road and Greenfield Lane.

The side road leading to Greenfield Lane will also be closed from its junction with Stafford Road to outside property number 868.

Springfield Lane will be closed in both directions from its junction with Stafford Road.

The service road leading Milldale Road and Farmbrook Avenue will be closed at its junction with Stafford Road and north of the Vine Island.

Drivers will not be able to turn left from the Vine Island onto the Stafford Road’s service road either.

People will also not be able to access the service road from The Broadlands or from opposite Springfield Lane.

Two way traffic signals will be in place for the part of the service road that will still be accessible to drivers.