A £6M project to improve roads near Stone will include the closure of a road junction and speed limit cut to discourage rat-running through a neighbouring village.
Staffordshire County Council’s plans to improve the A34 at Meaford, ahead of the proposed regeneration of a former power station site, went on show to the public on Thursday.
The project would address safety concerns in Meaford as well as improving access to the former power station site – also known as the Meaford Major Improvement Site – exhibition visitors were told.
Plans include shutting the northern entry off Meaford View to the A34 and replacing the southern entry junction with a roundabout. Currently some traffic wishing to turn right from Meaford Road onto the A34 uses Meaford View as a rat run and closure of the northern entry aims to create a safer environment in Meaford village, which includes a pub and day nursery.
The speed limit along Meaford Road would be reduced from the national speed limit to 40mph and a pavement and cycle path created along Meaford Road, between the new A34 roundabout and another new roundabout at the Washdale Lane junction. This second roundabout would also provide access to the Meaford Major Improvement Site – the largest undeveloped brownfield site in the county.
Developer St Modwen has planning permission to regenerate the site, which could also house a new gas fired power station.
The county council has applied to the Government’s Department for Transport for Pinch Point funding for its road improvement scheme. A planning application is due to be submitted later this year.
Project manager Andy Mason said the project would be due to start after roadworks on the A34 at Redhill, south of Meaford, are completed and steps would be taken to minimise disruption to motorists.
There will also be improvements made to a nearby culvert, which has caused flooding problems on Meaford Road on several occasions in the past two years, he added.
“We have made applications for money from various sources. If we get planning permission the earliest work would start is April 2015, and it would take about eight months to complete,” he said.
“Most of the feedback has been quite positive and we are trying to solve existing problems in the area.”
Meaford resident Richard Shuker, who attended Thursday’s information session, said: “I think it will be better for us. There will be better visibility coming out onto the A34 and it should stop a lot of drivers coming from Stoke and driving through the village towards Barlaston.”