PLANNING permission has been granted for major improvements to the A46 Stoneleigh junction.
Warwickshire County Council has agreed a raft of measures to tackle congestion and improve safety which are being coordinated and planned in conjunction with Coventry City Council, Warwick District Council, Highways England and HS2 Ltd. They include:
• A new, two bridge, gyratory roundabout connecting the A46 and Stoneleigh Road
• The introduction of pedestrian and cycle facilities
• The re-alignment of Stoneleigh Road and Dalehouse Lane in Kenilworth including alterations to the Dalehouse Lane roundabout
• A new bridge across Finham Brook
Subject to a funding package being confirmed, the main works are set to start on site next spring and are expected to take 18 months to complete. Some early works are already planned to relocate protected animal species and to undertake site clearance ahead of the main works getting underway.
The improvements to the Stoneleigh junction form the first phase of the A46 Link Road scheme – from Stoneleigh to Birmingham Airport – which has already been hailed as vital for the continued economic prosperity of the region. A further two phases would be carried out over the next ten years.
The cost for the phase 1 Stoneleigh works has been estimated at £23million, but the second and third phases have yet to be accurately costed.
Phase two would aim to improve access to the university, surrounding business parks and other employment areas through a new road linking the A46 at Stoneleigh with Westwood Heath via the A429 Kenilworth Road.
Highway chiefs say this would also help reduce the use of minor roads such as Kenilworth’s Crackley Lane for traffic en route to the university and surrounding area.
Phase three would see a further continued link of the road towards either the A45 or A452 – offering an improved link between Coventry and Warwickshire and the area around Birmingham Airport and the NEC.
County transport spokesman Coun Jeff Clarke said: “The existing Stoneleigh junction was constructed in the 1970s as part of the A46 Kenilworth bypass and no longer meets the needs of modern traffic management.
“Traffic levels have changed considerably since its construction and this is all too evident in the amount of congestion that regularly builds around the Stoneleigh Road and Dalehouse Lane during rush hour. These improvements will significantly improve traffic flow and ease the current levels of congestion and will see the junction fit for the challenges of the future.”
“These works illustrate Warwickshire County Council’s commitment that our businesses and communities are supported by excellent transport infrastructure.”
Warwick District Council development spokesman Alan Rhead also welcomed the planning approval.
He added “We wholeheartedly welcome the planned improvements to this vital link to the district’s transport network and look forward to reduced journey times for commuters and students and benefits to local businesses.
“We also hope that the enhancements to pedestrian and cycle routes will encourage more people to look at these options for their journeys.”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/a46linkroad for further information on the Stoneleigh junction and A46 Link Road schemes.