DENSTONE residents and theme park chiefs are welcoming the next phase of a road improvement aimed at reducing congestion.
Villagers had their say at a consultation into the second element of the A50 to Alton growth corridor which will see changes made at the ‘substandard’ T-junction where the B5031 joins Denstone Lane.
The junction sees more than 800 vehicles pass through it hourly at peak times and proposed plans mean a roundabout will be built to ‘improve traffic flow’.
The new intersection will be moved further from the steep, blind summit of the railway bridge with safety in mind.
Work is expected to begin in early May 2014 subject to land acquisition being completed, is forecast to take 25 weeks and should cause ‘minimal disruption’.
Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for transport and connected county said: “This particular project will not only help support the creation of jobs of growth, but will ease congestion and help make the area safer for motorists.
“The aim is to improve safety at the junction by improving geometry which will also improve traffic flows.
“We will require some overnight road closures although consideration will be given to volumes of traffic before implementing road closures and diversion routes.”
Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council and local member for the area, said: “This is yet more good news for the local area and thanks to this further investment to support the A50 Growth Corridor and the B5030 Corridor, local residents and visitors will benefit from smoother and safer journeys too.”
Mark Kerrigan, park operations and development director at Alton Towers Resort said: “The A50 is a vital corridor for guests travelling to the Alton Towers Resort and, as we expand our full year offering, it is becoming even more so.
“We therefore welcome the Government’s decision to invest in upgrading this key infrastructure around Uttoxeter.
“Taken in tandem with the work that is being completed in Rocester and the planned installation of a roundabout at the junction of Uttoxeter Road in Denstone, these improvements will make a significant difference for everyone who is travelling in the area and will reduce the current pinch-points at these locations.
“The financial contributions that we make annually to Staffordshire Highways have always been intended to go towards work within our local area and we are therefore very pleased to think that some of it may be going towards this type of project.”
Caroline Vernon, chairman of Denstone Parish Council, said: “We’re hoping the work will be starting in May and the parish councillors are all happy for it to begin.
“We hope the improvements will make the road better for residents and for Alton Towers traffic.
“Though there will be some disruption while the works take place, we have to accept that in order to get the end result we are looking forward to.”