Multi-million pound plans to create a new road between the A500 and the city centre have taken a major step forward – and work could start as early as next year.
Planning permission for the Etruria Valley Link Road, which will run from the Wolstanton junction of the A500 through to the key employment and leisure sites of Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and Festival Park, has now been granted by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle Borough Council, with the road crossing both areas.
The scheme, being delivered by the city council, will feature some complex engineering challenges including a new viaduct over the West Coast Mainline railway, a new roundabout and improvements to existing ones, work to the Fowlea Brook and a new canal bridge crossing.
Work on the 1km long road is currently scheduled to start in early 2020 and it is due to open to traffic in 2022. The road will reduce congestion and improve journey times on the A500 and A53 and significantly improve access to the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and Festival Park, with the potential to ‘unlock’ further land for development and create hundreds of new jobs for the city and wider area.
The development is being funded by the Government and represents an investment of over £40 million. It links to the road widening work already taking place to the A500 between Porthill and Wolstanton, to increase capacity on the road.
Conservative Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for infrastructure, regeneration and heritage at the city council, said: “The link road will be one of the biggest and most complex projects the council has delivered in decades and today is a really exciting day for Stoke-on-Trent with the scheme being approved for development.
“The project is backed by the Department for Transport at a national level, who recognise like we do, the link road’s huge potential to boost the city’s economy and businesses by reducing congestion and further opening up an employment site which is already home to thousands of workers and global companies. The link road could also play a part in our work to improve air quality in the area.”