A road over railway bridge that has undergone extensive refurbishment as part of a multi-million-pound project to support Stafford’s regeneration has reopened today - ahead of schedule.

The Doxey Road bridge works have been carried out as part of the Stafford Western Access Route project which aims to help ease congestion in the town centre and enable millions of pounds worth of new housing and business development to take place.

The new road will help to improve traffic flow in the town centre, particularly by the railway station.

It will link the A34 Foregate Street at Madford Retail Park to the A518 Newport Road Castlefields junction.

It will also help to improve traffic flow in Gaol Square, Newport Road, Station Road, Chell Road, A34 Foregate Street and Doxey Road.

It is being funded by developers and with £15.5 million secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government's Local Growth Fund. Both the county and borough councils also contributed to the scheme.

Completion of the bridge works follows a new section of road opening early this year, connecting Castlefields to Doxey.

Doxey Road has also been realigned and resurfaced, with a new roundabout providing access to the Sainsbury's car park and the last stretch of the route to Madford Retail Park.

A new viaduct has also been built over the River Sow to provide the connection to the retail park and the A34 Foregate Street.

Staffordshire County Council's cabinet member for highways and transport David Williams said: "We're pleased to announce the Doxey Road bridge has reopened ahead of schedule.

"This is another significant milestone for the project as it really begins to open up and we're well on schedule for an autumn completion. Now the team is focusing on the viaduct works and final section of the route."

David added: "The Stafford Western Access Route is a huge project for the town and Staffordshire, and one of the biggest engineering schemes the county council has undertaken in over a decade. It will support the development for homes and businesses which will be critical for Stafford’s future growth.

"The team has shown great commitment and hard work throughout the pandemic period. It has carried out comprehensive engagement with communities and businesses throughout which has been extremely important."

The Stafford Western Access Route - which was crowned the West Midlands' top civil engineering scheme earlier this year - is due for completion this autumn.

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