Work on the final section of Lichfield’s southern bypass is progressing well and moves to its next phase this month.

The new section of road will complete what will be an essential part of the city’s infrastructure and support the delivery of new housing and future growth. Work is under way to build the spine road connecting the short new section of road under the railway at Birmingham Road and through the housing development land to London Road.

The scheme will connect the A5127 Birmingham Road with the A5206 London Road using the new underpass beneath the Cross City railway line which is substantially complete.

The latest phase of works will see the reconstruction of the junction of London Road and Tamworth Road. So that work can be carried out safely and to minimise disruption, the eastern section of Shortbutts Lane will need to be closed in mid-January until late June 2021. Residents of Shortbutts Lane and the roads that feed into it will only be able to gain access from Birmingham Road.  Access will be maintained for pedestrians. Temporary traffic signals will operate on the Upper St John Street/Tamworth Road/London Road junction during the same period.

While the main spine road is being constructed, Persimmon Homes will be building new houses in its development areas.  Now that access below the new rail bridge is available, bypass construction vehicles are entering and exiting the site via Birmingham Road roundabout and vehicles working on the housing development are using the London Road entrance.  

The new railway bridge and the connection to Birmingham Road roundabout are being funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund. The remaining 600 metre stretch is being funded by a Persimmon. The bridge was put in place over the Christmas period last year.

The Department for Transport allocated £5m to the scheme, in addition to £2.3m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

The road will link with the new housing development and new primary school in addition to easing congestion in the city centre and in particular around the railway station.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport David Williams said: “We’re pleased to see such good progress taking place on the final section of the Lichfield Southern Bypass which is vital for the city’s future growth. It will also support the delivery of much-needed new homes it will reduce congestion in the city centre.

“This phase will see works impact on the road network for the first time as alterations are made to the junction of London Road and Tamworth Road. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to close a short section of Shortbutts Lane for a prolonged period and we apologise to affected residents for inconvenience during this time.

“Work has been able to continue safely through the Covid-19 period to help strengthen our economy at a critical time as we move out of the pandemic.”

Mike Lyons, Board Director for Improving Connectivity at GBSLEP added: “Projects such as Lichfield Southern Bypass are essential, especially in light of Covid-19. The benefits of infrastructure projects such as this for businesses and residents in Lichfield cannot be understated.

“By improving traffic flow, the bypass will boost connectivity and ease congestion in the area, whilst also creating space for housing developments and access to employment sites which are key to attracting investment and creating new jobs.

“GBSLEP remain committed to enhancing the quality of life for all of our businesses and residents whilst continuing to drive economic growth and the Lichfield Southern Bypass project is sure to support the regional economy in Lichfield as it entices new visitors to the area.”