Major junction improvement schemes to get under way

Motorists are being asked for their patience and understanding as work on two major road improvement schemes gets under way – which will improve traffic flow and boost the city’s economy for many years to come.

The £8.7 million project will cut queues 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 will be rebuilt and increased in size to improve its layout and increase its capacity. This will be followed by improvements to Bucknall New Road with an extended three-lane approach to Potteries Way and better traffic signals among the enhancements.

The investment in the city’s infrastructure will provide long-term benefits for motorists and the economy, with reduced congestion and improved journey times when finished. However, there will be some unavoidable short-term disruption while work takes place which will be minimised at every opportunity.

Joiners Square
Following the successful completion of utility diversion work, the main scheme will begin on Monday, November 30. For the duration of the works – which are expected to last until April 2021 – the junction will need to be controlled by four-way temporary lights to ensure the safety of workers and motorists. The lights will be manually controlled if required through peak hours to help ease traffic flow as best as possible.

Bucknall New Road
From midnight on Sunday, December 6 through to 6am on Thursday, December 10, a full closure of Bucknall New Road from its junction with Potteries Way to Lime Kiln Lights will be in place. This is so the existing pedestrian footbridge that spans the road can be safely taken down with specialist equipment ahead of the main improvement work commencing, which is due for completion in summer 2021.

Conservative Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, said: “These two junctions have huge local significance serving both the city centre and other key routes and they were simply not designed for the levels of traffic we get now as the city has grown over the years. We must invest and carry out this work now to secure a sustainable and successful future for the city as Stoke-on-Trent continues to develop for the better. This infrastructure investment will increase connectivity and boost the economy as we power up the city to make sure we come out of the coronavirus pandemic in a strong position.

“As a motorist and resident of the city myself I fully understand how frustrating it can be to be stuck in traffic. We all want the best for Stoke-on-Trent but sometimes progression isn’t possible without short-term disruption. There will be some short-term pain but the end result will be better infrastructure and long-term gain for everyone, so my message to motorists is please bear with us while we carry out these essential upgrades. We truly believe the disruption will be worth the benefits which we will have for the next 25 years and more. We must build a better tomorrow for the city, its businesses and our residents.”

The work is being 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 is also making a £1.6 million contribution.

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.”

Greg Bullen, site manager for contractor Galliford Try, said: “The daily working hours have been extended at Joiners Square to shorten the overall construction programme. Infrastructure enhancement projects of this size, and in such prominent locations, will inevitably cause some disruption but we will do everything in our ability to keep it to a minimum and help traffic move as freely as possible.”

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