(An artist's impression of the new permanent roundabout – forming the junction of Doxey Road and the access to Sainsbury’s/Borough Council car park [bottom left])

A multi-million-pound road project, which will boost economic growth and ease congestion in Stafford, is due to reach its next milestone next month.

The Stafford Western Access Route (SWAR) will enable millions of pounds worth of investment into the area, with new housing and business developments taking place nearby. The project will also improve traffic flow in Stafford's town centre, particularly by the railway station.

The new road will link the A34 Foregate Street at Madford Retail Park to the A518 Newport Road Castlefields junction. The road will help improve traffic flow in Gaol Square, Newport Road (east of Kingsway), Station Road, Chell Road, A34 Foregate Street (south of the scheme) and Doxey Road.
Work is currently being carried out on Doxey Road, with a new temporary mini-roundabout being installed on the 8th November. The temporary installation will provide access to the Sainsbury's and Stafford Borough Council's carparks during this stage of construction - the current access will be closed whilst the new roundabout is being built.
In the coming weeks, vacant buildings off Doxey Road - formerly occupied by Stafford-based company, Saint Gobain - will be demolished in a controlled way. This will make way for a new roundabout and future developments. However, Saint Gobain have remained in the area, having recently relocated to the County Council-developed Redhilll Business Park (also located in Stafford).

The now defunct buildings include an office block, gatehouse and former factory - all of the masonry will be crushed and repurposed within the Stafford Western Access Route project, ensuring that construction is both eco-friendly and cost-efficient. People can find out more about this stage of the scheme at an Information Event taking place at site offices (Doxey Road) on Thursday 7th November, between 2pm and 7pm.

The road is being co-funded by developers and the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP), with the SSLEP securing £15.5million of funding via the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
Staffordshire County Council’s Economic Growth Leader, Mark Winnington said:

“Work is now well under way on this long-awaited project which is vital for Stafford’s future growth. This is a significant milestone – changing the landscape off Doxey Road by removing vacant industrial buildings. We are pleased Saint Gobain relocated to Redhill; continuing its operations and providing employment in Stafford."

“Next month also sees a change in the configuration of Doxey Road and the Sainsbury’s temporary access arrangements. The Stafford Western Access Route will enable future development contained in the borough’s local plan – notably the delivery of thousands of new homes and business, office and retail space. It will also reduce congestion in the town centre, particularly around the railway station."

“We will be keeping in contact with local residents, businesses and partner organisations throughout the scheme.”

(The new roundabout - old Saint Gobain site located to the right)

While some traffic management will be put in place, the majority of work will be conducted away from current roads, therefore keeping disruption to a minimum. Later in the scheme the only road closures will be on Doxey Road, and Greyfriars (at its junction with Madford Retail Park). There will also be some lane closures on the A34 Foregate Street, though traffic will still be able to use the other lanes.
A full closure of Doxey Road will need to be put in place for one weekend in early 2021 and again for four weeks just afterwards. The four-week closure will only take place when the new section of road from Doxey Road to Castlefields is open. Traffic can then follow a short diversion onto Newport Road.
The scheme will include improved conditions for bus services, pedestrians and cyclists. There will also be environmental benefits through the redevelopment of areas of derelict land and landscaping along the route.