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Calls for clarity on cost of A50 project

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COMMUNITY leaders are calling for ‘transparency’ from project bosses on their plans to redevelop the A50.

Uttoxeter Town Council is set to request a list of the 37 businesses that will lose land or be forced to close as part of the scheme.

Staffordshire County Council, which is running the project, could not provide a list when asked by the Post and Times.

Town hall representatives have heard rumours some of those businesses will be relocated in town, but, again, county councillors remained tight-lipped.

However, the Post and Times can confirm there are ‘no plans’ to close McDonald’s and project leaders are ‘looking at (neighbouring) Esso in more detail’.

Speaking at a recent town council meeting, Martin Blencowe said: “With St Modwen’s and JCB’s plans, we need a grade-separated junction to service that.

“But many people in my ward are extremely concerned at the loss of access by the current route near McDonald’s.

“To close that off would mean there’d just be access from the west and the east, without that access from Spath and Stramshall.

“Anyone wishing to cycle to work at JCB would use that route.

“I’m chairman of the borough planning team and I have trouble finding out what they’re up to.

“To have this railroaded through to suit the current environment is not democracy.

“It’s a welcome project in concept but, in its detail, it doesn’t work for Uttoxeter.”

The scheme is split into two sections - Projects A and B.

Project A, which is due to start in December, will see a grade-separated junction installed to service the St Modwen development to the west of Uttoxeter.

Project B will replace the McDonalds and Derby Road roundabouts with grade separated junctions.

A county council spokesman said: “Closure of the MacDonald’s roundabout would stop vehicular traffic joining the A50 at this point from Ashbourne Road.

“However, the new junction to the east, which will be based around the existing Dove Way bridge, will be altered to a full movement grade separated junction and north and south movements will therefore be maintained.

“We’ve agreed to provide a footbridge and cycleway over the A50 at the existing Ashbourne Road.

“Without the Projects A and B, the A50 and its connecting roads will encounter severe congestion, which will hamper development and lead to problems with the network near Uttoxeter town centre.

“Without the new Project A junction, heavy vehicles will use New Road to access the town centre.

“The facilities for entering the A50 from the A522 are substandard and potentially dangerous and the new junction would accommodate traffic.”

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