Midlands Connect outlines ambitions for A50 corridor

Regional transport body Midlands Connect has released a report outlining a raft of improvements to the A50/A500 corridor that it would like to see funded through the next and future Road Investment Strategies (RIS).

The sub-national transport body (STB) said the proposals could create a £12bn economic boost and help to unlock over 12,000 jobs, adding that new research shows that drivers are losing 37 minutes every weekday due to congestion on the route linking Derby, Nottingham and Leicester to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and the North-West.

The report, called Levelling-up Stoke, Staffordshire, Derby & Derbyshire: The road to success, outlines a series of recommendations for ‘long-awaited upgrades’, which Midlands Connect said were ‘badly needed to alleviate bottlenecks along the 90km corridor', which carries between 60,000 to 90,000 vehicles a day.

The STB pointed out that while large manufacturers such as JCB, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Alstom rely on the key East-West route to keep supply chains moving and provide links to international markets, traffic congestion threatens to stand in the way of business growth.

Midlands Connect said that with deadlines to secure funding via the RIS fast approaching, it is working with local authorities and other partners to put together a phased, corridor-wide approach that can provide good value for money.

It said it is committed to minimising the building of new road infrastructure, ‘instead seeking ways to reduce private car travel and emissions, including active travel improvements, alternative fuels and electric vehicle infrastructure’.

Chair Sir John Peace said: 'This report outlines why upgrades to the A50/A500 manufacturing corridor are crucial both to keep international markets open after Brexit and to reduce emissions by enabling more direct and efficient journeys.

‘This suggested strategic enhancement plan from Midlands Connect is based on comprehensive research which proves just how economically important this 90km East-West stretch of road between Crewe and Derby is.

‘Improvements will also make it easier for business and local communities to prepare for a future where electric vehicles and alternative fuels become the norm.’

‘Suggested’ improvements on the corridor

On the Western Section, running from Blythe Bridge, Staffordshire, to M6 J15-16 (through Stoke-on-Trent):

  • strategic improvements to M6 J15 to resolve congestion, to improve safety and facilitate better flow of traffic on M6 and A500
  • enhancements at Sideway to make traffic flow more smoothly, including strategic changes to the roundabout and lanes at the junction, as well as addressing the signalled junctions that cause traffic to build up on the route
  • technology-led improvements to improve the reliability and safety of the M6 between junctions 15 and 16

On the Central Section from the A50/A38 Toyota junction to Blythe Bridge:

  • grade separation of the A50 and local roads at two locations in Uttoxeter, with associated slip roads to provide access and other potential enhancements to support growth and boost local active travel networks
  • enhancements to existing roundabouts at Sudbury and Blythe Bridge to increase capacity and reduce delays

On the Eastern Section from the M1 to A50/A38 Toyota junction:

  • improvements to A38/A50 Toyota junction to improve capacity, safety and general operation (recommended as an immediate priority to be delivered through an appropriate source of funding).
  • widening of the A50 south of Derby, between Junction 2 for the A6 at Chellaston and Junction 3 for the A514 near Aston-on-Trent (recommended to be undertaken in RIS4).
  • a new link road between the A50 (near Junction 1) and A42 (near Junction 14, Breedon-on-the-Hill). This is recommended as a long-term option to be considered for RIS5 or beyond.

Supported By