Changes made to M54 and M6 link road plan to ease concerns

A series of changes have been made to plans for a new £200 million dual carriageway linking the M54 and M6, taking it further away from villages and woodland.

The road will link the M54 with the M6
The road will link the M54 with the M6

The road is set to carve a path through the countryside in a bid to cut congestion in South Staffordshire but critics have complained it will be built too close to villages such as Featherstone and Hilton, creating noise and impacting on the environment.

Now a number of amendments have been made to the proposals by Highways England.

They include the realignment of a slip road at M54 Junction 1, moving it further away from Featherstone. A section of the link road will also be made steeper where it passes through woodland to lessen the impact on the area.

A change in the bridge design and construction at M54 Junction 1 will also avoid the need for two years of traffic management on the motorway, Highways England said.

It is hoped the changes will ease concerns of residents living close to where the road will be built.

The road will connect Junction 1 of the M54 with Junction 11 of the M6, running close to the A460.

The project took a major step forward earlier this year when it was given Government backing and included in its £27 billion Road Investment Strategy.

Hope

Highways England has submitted a formal application to build the road with the Government's planning inspector, and it is currently at the pre-examination stage.

It is expected any work on the new road will not start until 2024 but transport bosses in the region hope the Government's explicit backing for the link road could see the project fast-tracked.

Staffordshire county councillor Bernard Williams, who represents Featherstone, said the changes showed Highways England was listening to concerns.

He said: "It seems they are trying to help the people of Featherstone slightly by doing what they are doing. The biggest problem is the people of Hilton, where the road is going to be unfortunately. But they understand and know about it.

"Everybody has got to make the best of what we have got and that's what we're trying to do. Where we can help the people of Hilton we will."

Simon Statham, director of technical programmes at Midlands Connect, previously said of the scheme: “This project is a potential game-changer for the Midlands motorway network; it will make both long-distance and short journeys quicker and less congested, improving air quality as well as supporting ambitious economic growth plans for the region.

“It is important that construction gets under way as soon as possible so that road users can start to feel the benefits."

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