A multi-million-pound project to support Stafford’s regeneration has been completed and is now fully open to traffic.
The Stafford Western Access Route will ease congestion in the town centre, particularly by the rail station, and is supporting residential and commercial development.
Construction of the £63million project began in summer 2019 and work has continued safely throughout the pandemic period.
The final section crossing a new viaduct, which has been built over the River Sow to provide the connection to Madford retail park and the A34 Foregate Street. Seventy-two steel beams – each weighing 58 tonnes – form the base of the viaduct.
The project has included the restoration of a former car park into marshland wildlife habitat, flood compensation works, plantation of 2,360 trees, installation of bat boxes and mammal crossing and creation of 2.2km of cycling routes.
The road has been funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund, as well as developers and both Staffordshire County and Stafford Borough Councils.
Councillor Frances Beatty, cabinet member for economic development and planning at the borough council, said: “The completion of the Stafford Western Access Route is further demonstration of the significant investment that is taking place in and around the town and of how many projects are now coming to fruition, getting underway or in the pipeline.
“It will vastly improve access into and out of the town for shoppers, for our workforce, students and visitors alike. The new road is a gateway to the ongoing transformation of our town centre and has provided the town with the much-needed infrastructure to support the development taking place.
“One of our top priorities is growth and prosperity. We hope that through project delivery and our ambitious plans for the future our community will see that Stafford is heading in the right direction.”
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport David Williams said: “The Stafford Western Access Route is a huge project for the town and Staffordshire, and one of the biggest engineering schemes the county council has undertaken in over a decade. Marking its completion highlights what an achievement this has been for all the partners involved.
“This project is playing a major part in supporting the county town’s future growth – unlocking development sites for new homes, businesses and community facilities.
“Furthermore, it will ease town centre congestion which impacts the local economy before we see new projects progressing, including the Stafford Gateway and HS2 links to the town.
Press Release No 5832