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Two major road improvement schemes set to move forward

Published: Wednesday, 16th September 2020

Work on a major scheme to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at two gateways into Stoke-on-Trent city centre is set to take a big step forward next week.

The £8.7 million project aims to cut queues and improve air quality at Joiners Square roundabout and the Bucknall New Road / Potteries Way junction, which both often see tailbacks of traffic at peak hours. Joiners Square roundabout would be remodelled and increased in size to improve its layout and increase its capacity. This would be closely followed by improvements to Bucknall New Road with an extended three-lane approach to Potteries Way and better traffic signals among the changes.

The work would be funded in the main by Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (£7.1 million) and delivered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which would also make a £1.6 million contribution. Now the city council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday (September 22) where it is expected to rubber-stamp the financing of the work, and give the go-ahead for contractors to be appointed and the appropriation of some land for highway purposes.

Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, said: “These important schemes will ease congestion and improve traffic flow at two key gateways to the city centre. They will reduce queue time, improve air quality and make it quicker to get from A to B in the city, which is good news for motorists, businesses and the economy. This investment in our infrastructure has been needed for some time and is vital as we power up the city and lay the foundations for the next 25 years.

“Anyone who uses these junctions will know how busy they can get, especially at peak times. As traffic levels have increased in recent years and the city has grown, these junctions have struggled to cope. Joiners Square roundabout is used by people heading to the train station, the city centre, Fenton and out of the city towards Leek. Similarly Bucknall New Road is another key route in the city which is operating beyond its capacity at peak times, leading to significant congestion and frustration for motorists.

“Good transport links keep the cogs of the city moving and I’m pleased we’re now at the point of being really close to delivering these two projects. The work is vital to supporting existing businesses and unlocking further economic growth. It will also make these two busy junctions safer from a general traffic point of view, which will encourage more take-up of sustainable forms of transport such as cycling.”

Ground investigations have already been carried out at Joiners Square roundabout and it is hoped the main work could start before the end of the year. Utility diversions at Bucknall New Road, which are needed before the main work can take place, are expected to start in November.

Alun Rogers, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman, said: “Congestion in our towns and cities restricts growth and so we’re pleased to be able to fund major schemes like these. This will ease traffic flow in Stoke-on-Trent which is hugely important to communities and business.

“It will make the city a more attractive place to live, work and invest. It is vital to the LEP and our partners that our major projects have been able to continue through the pandemic period and we look forward to both schemes getting under way.”

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For all media enquiries only please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.