Express & Star

Major pedestrianisation scheme in Wolverhampton delayed due to weather

A finishing date for major pedestrianisation works in Wolverhampton city centre has been pushed back due to snow and rain impacting on the project, chiefs say.

The roadworks on Victoria Street, seen here in June 2022, have led to a number of stores closing down

Chiefs had announced the £15.7 million revamp of Victoria Street and surrounding areas was due to finish on or around March 22, subject to weather conditions.

And the snow and rain seen in the last two months has led to the controversial programme now expected to finish on April 7 – again dependant on the weather.

But chiefs say contractors have been working evenings and weekends to make up for the delay, with only three areas needing work before the scheme is complete.

A spokesman for Wolverhampton Council said: "Unfortunately, during February and March snow and heavy rain have hampered the progress on the concreting and paving works.

“However, the team has been working evenings and weekends where possible to catch up and the paving in Victoria Street is now substantially complete, with only three areas - the new events square, the junction with Salop Street and the junction with Queen Square/Darlington Street – to be finished. These will be completed by April 7, subject to weather conditions.

“The completed works are part of a £22m package of investment in the west of the city centre focused on creating better public spaces that will attract more visitors and enable businesses to thrive and grow through a blended approach of retail supported by events and activities in quality public spaces, and city centre living.

“This area badly needs investment and is exactly like the successful model adopted in nearby Leicester where regeneration work is underpinned by investment in public realm. We’re also developing a new Box Space entertainment venue, just off Victoria Street, which is set to open in summer 2024, and The Halls Wolverhampton will reopen this June – both of which will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to this part of the city centre and boost the local economy by millions of pounds each year.”

The scheme has been criticised by traders on and nearby Victoria Street due to the impact it has had, with some closing and pointing the blame at the authority.

Wolverhampton Council chiefs said the authority has no obligation to support businesses but would continue to do so.