More than 900 roads and pavements will be resurfaced, thousands of potholes repaired and dozens of traffic signals upgraded with modern technology as part of a major £35 million highways investment.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is set to spend £22.8 million on road and pavement improvement programmes over the next four years. The investment, which was rubber-stamped as part of the council’s capital investment programme, is one of the biggest ever sustained investments in the city’s road network by the council.
It will see the council spend £5.7 million each year on repairing potholes, resurfacing roads and reconstructing pavements across the city, with the programme starting next month. A total of 168 roads and 75 pavements are scheduled to see improvements undertaken in the first 12 months, with work planned to sections of busy routes including Weston Road (Meir), Beaconsfield Drive (Blurton), Sutherland Road (Longton), High Lane (Burslem), High Street (Tunstall), MFI roundabout (Etruria), London Road (Stoke), King Street (Fenton) and Stafford Street (Hanley).
On top of the £22.8 million, the council can announce it has been successful with a bid for £5 million to the Government’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund. Only 32 councils have been successful with bids to the cashpot, designed at repairing roads and bridges. The council’s ‘Keep Stoke Moving’ bid will see a number of strategic and heavily used roads along two main corridors in the city resurfaced – the northern corridor which links Tunstall and Burslem to the city centre and the southern corridor which links Fenton and Longton to the city centre. Both programmes include a full signal upgrade along the entire length which will improve traffic flow, pedestrian movement and air quality.
Northern corridor resurfacing and signal improvements: Brownhills Road, Davenport Street, Newcastle Street, Moorland Road, High Lane, Hanley Road, Chell Street and Town Road.
Southern corridor resurfacing and signal improvements: Weston Road, Weston Coyney Road, Sutherland Road, Commerce Street, The Strand, King Street, City Road and Victoria Road.
The city council also receives roughly £1.9 million from the Department for Transport’s Local Transport Plan each year, which will go towards further road and pavement improvements in the city. This will bring the total spend on the road and pavement network in the city between April 2020 and April 2024 to approximately £35 million.
Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, said: “From speaking to and listening to people in our communities, we recognise the condition of the road network is a key priority for local people. This is one of the largest-ever sustained investments by the council in the road network, with a commitment to spend at least £5.7 million each year on improvements. Having this in place means we will have a clear plan of the work we will carry out over the next four years, whereas in the past the money available has always fluctuated from one year to the next.
“We’re also delighted to have been successful with our bid to the Government for an additional £5 million to improve the city’s roads. This money will complement our own planned spend and will be used to focus on some of the busiest roads in the city that will have the greatest positive impact on residents. It will cover a significant portion of the strategic network in the city and will mean less minor roadworks are needed, therefore speeding up traffic, reducing disruption and also extending the life of the roads. There are a number of retail parks, industrial estates and commercial units located along both corridors. An improved carriageway will improve access to these venues with reduced journey times, which is good for air quality. Several key bus and cycle network routes are also included in the bid.
“We’re redeveloping Stoke-on-Trent into an inviting place to live, work, visit and invest in, with work taking place to create a vibrant city centre, improve attractions and deliver housing choices for every stage of life. It’s important we have a fit-for-purpose road network to match our ambitious growth plans, and this significant investment will help to ensure that. Once we get into spring and the weather improves we will really be able to start pushing ahead with the work.”
Following the successful ‘Keep Stoke Moving’ bid to Government, the council will now be expressing an interest for the second phase of the fund for further funding to improve other key routes in the city. These would include the East to West corridor, Stoke Station to city centre, the A34, and Longton Road/Trentham Road. A decision is expected later in the year.
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