WORK to improve a notorious Rocester blackspot is moving on to the next phase as roundabouts are set to be installed.
Staffordshire County Council has revealed the work to improve the A50 to Alton corridor moved to the next step at the weekend with roundabouts to improve the traffic flow on the B5030 at the Station Road and High Street junction in Rocester near JCB world headquarters.
On Saturday, the southern roundabout began to be surfaced and kerbs installed. As part of the surfacing work the road layout will be changing, so the council is asking people to drive with extra care and pay attention to signs giving information about the road layout.
The work will be taking place until Friday and three-way traffic signals will be operating for 24 hours a day until it is completed. The signals will be manned during peak times to ensure the traffic flow is balanced, but people are being asked to plan extra time for their journey if using this stretch of road this week.
By Saturday the new south roundabout at the Station Road junction will be up and running, subject to weather conditions.
The scheme forms part of the Alton corridor improvements from the A50 north towards Alton Towers. Funding has come from the Government’s Local Pinch Point Fund which aims to remove bottle-necks on the road network that can restrict economic growth.
Simon Tagg, the authority’s cabinet support member for transport, said: “Work is well on schedule on the A50 to Alton growth corridor improvement scheme with construction of the roundabouts under way.
“This will significantly improve traffic flow along the corridor and will play an important part in supporting business expansion in Staffordshire.
“The route is used by traffic accessing JCB’s headquarters and Alton Towers – both major employment sites and flagship Staffordshire businesses which are seeing continued success.
“There may be some additional delays next week while work is carried out and so we’d like to thank people in advance for their patience.”
The B5030 links with the A50 to the south and the B5032 in the north, where further improvements are due to take place in 2014 up to Alton Towers.
Leader Philip Atkins added: “This work is vital for future business expansion and increased prosperity in Staffordshire and also to ensure we are meeting the demands on our network.
“We know the improvements are welcomed by people living in the area.”
The scheme is one of three initiatives which received an allocation of the Government’s Local Pinch Point fund.
Successful projects needed to show they could get off the ground quickly and make an impact straight away.
Additional Government funding is supporting major improvements of the A50 at its junction with Uttoxeter next year.
People can follow progress on the works online at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/rocesterimprovements or by following the project team on Twitter @Rocester_Imps