Warwickshire County Council Cabinet today (Thursday 8 December 2016) approved proposals to proceed with important improvements to the A46 near to the University of Warwick and Stoneleigh Park, known as the A46 Link Road Scheme.
The proposals will allow Warwickshire, and the wider sub-region, to build on the economic growth it has experienced over the past decade.
The A46 Link Road scheme is formed of three phases, to be implemented across the next 10 years to ease congestion, improve access to centres of education and commerce and facilitate growth.
Cabinet approved that, working in partnership with Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council, all necessary steps will be taken to prepare the A46 Link Road Scheme for implementation, including:
- finalising designs and determining land requirements;
- submitting applications for planning permission and any other requisite consents;
- agreeing arrangements with Highways England for developing the proposed scheme.
Phase 1 of the scheme, planned for delivery by mid-2019, will see a major improvement implemented at the Stoneleigh junction on the A46 between Coventry and Kenilworth to form a gyratory layout with two bridge roundabout. This will involve installing a new bridge to the east of the existing junction and realigning Stoneleigh Road and Dalehouse Lane. This will help address existing congestion and safety issues at the junction whilst also improving access to the University of Warwick and Stoneleigh Park.
Phase 1 of the scheme will also bring benefits to local areas during the construction of HS2, which would be positive for the communities who have expressed concerns about the extra congestion and safety issues the construction of the rail line may cause.
Phase 2 of the A46 Link Road is planned to dramatically improve accessibility to the University of Warwick and the surrounding Business Parks and other employment areas through the provision of a new road linking the A46 at Stoneleigh with Westwood Heath via the A429 Kenilworth Road. It will also help reduce the inappropriate use of minor roads such as Crackley Lane for traffic wishing to access the University and surrounding area.
Following a successful bid to the Department for Transport (DfT), funding of £1.25 million has been granted to develop the business case for Phase 2 of the scheme.
Upon the successful delivery of phases 1 and 2 of this scheme, Phase 3 would see a further link from Phase 2 of the scheme towards either the A45 or A452. The aim of Phase 3 would be to enhance connectivity between the Coventry and Warwickshire sub-region and the economic opportunities afforded by UK Central in Solihull.
Cllr Peter Butlin, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning and Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said:
“The A46 Link Road is a very exciting scheme both for Warwickshire and the wider sub-region. Coventry and Warwickshire has the fastest growing economy within the West Midlands. Infrastructure investment is needed in key corridors such as the A45 and A46 to provide the conditions for businesses to continue to invest in the area. An efficient transport network with sufficient capacity and resilience is key to maintaining and supporting future growth, and this is exactly what the A46 Link Road scheme aims to deliver.
“We are pleased that the Department for Transport has already recognised the promise in Phase 2 of this scheme and granted a large sum of money to assist in its progression.”
Cllr Philip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added:
“The A46 Link Road scheme is a fantastic example of how Warwickshire County Council and its partners target resources effectively through strong sub-regional partnership working to deliver real improvements to the wider Midlands region. The scheme will ensure that the sub-region and its economy continues to benefit from a high quality transport network which supports access to jobs, improved business to business connectivity and sustainable housing and employment growth.”
Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“It is imperative that we continue to plan ahead to ensure that we are delivering the infrastructure which will allow our economy to carry on growing.
“We have already done that at key points across our area and this funding will allow the development of detailed plans for a second phase of improvement of the road system in and around the University of Warwick, and hopefully convince Government of the case for further considerable investment.”