THE redevelopment of the A50 ‘doesn’t work for Uttoxeter businesses or residents’ in its current form - and that is according to one of the project’s senior leaders.
The admission came as Uttoxeter Town Council met with Steve Burrows, the county’s commissioner for business and enterprise.
The A50 growth corridor project will be crucial for JCB’s expansion plans, which will create 2,500 jobs.
But councillors warned Mr Burrows it could ‘kill off business’ in Uttoxeter.
And the enterprise boss revealed the Esso garage neighbouring McDonalds will go under current plans.
It is one of 37 businesses that will lose varying amounts of land to make way for new junctions.
Mr Burrows said: “The second part of the A50 growth corridor, Project B, will see the McDonalds and Derby Road roundabouts replaced by grade-separated junctions.
“This will create problems for McDonalds with the closure of the garage and access to the restaurant.
“Also, you won’t be able to access the Eurogarages site from Derby Road roundabout.
“We accept that, in its current form, the proposal, thru-traffic will benefit hugely but it’ll cause all kinds of problems for businesses in Uttoxeter and people trying to access the A50 from the town.
“As it stands, the project works for thru-traffic - but not for Uttoxeter’s businesses and residents.”
To mitigate this, highways chiefs will create a ‘traffic model’ to assess the volume of traffic using a host of routes in Uttoxeter.
Tiny cameras will be fitted around town to map which routes are most commonly-used.
This will allow project leaders to establish what modifications are needed to improve traffic flow and access to businesses.
Town councillor Andrew Riley said: “You’re going to kill off business and, while JCB’s plans are fantastic, if we lose thousands of jobs in town, we’re really gaining nothing.
“We could end up with two routes into Uttoxeter rather than three and the town could be bypassed completely.
“That’s the great concern of the residents we represent.”
The initiative is split into two parts.
Project A will install a junction to serve the forthcoming 700-home development to the west of Uttoxeter.
A planning application for Project A is immanent and it is hoped construction can start later this year.
Project B, which will replace the McDonalds and Derby Road roundabouts with flyovers across the A50, has been the ‘main cause of concern’ for residents and businesses.
Once finalised after extensive public consultation, a planning application will be entered in 2015.