Work begins on danger A483 junction near Oswestry
A scheme has begun to improve an accident blackspot on a major Shropshire trunk road.
Drivers could see up to five months of disruption as Highways England starts work to install ‘smart’ traffic lights and construct filter lanes on the Maesbury Road junction on the A483 near Oswestry.
The junction carries an ever increasing amount of traffic from Oswestry’s Mile Oak Industrial Estate and also connects the town with villages to the south.
Maesbury Road towards Oswestry will be shut for part of the work, with drivers diverted to the Mile End roundabout.
The junction has been the scene of many fatal and serious accidents over the past 20 years.
The work has been welcomed by Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for Highways, Councillor Steve Davenport.
“This work has been a long time coming,” he said.
“The junction has been recognised as dangerous for some time.
“Installing smart traffic lights will mean that they will change with the volume of traffic, which will keep the traffic flowing.
“This will help not only traffic on the busy trunk road but that emerging from the side roads. Traffic from the industrial estate builds up considerably at rush hour.”
The junction is the first in a series of works that are to be carried out on the A483/A5 around Oswestry.
Shropshire Council recently won a bid for £9.3 million of funding to improve the traffic islands at Mile End and the Whittington junction on the bypass.
This will pave the way for the creation of the Oswestry sustainable urban extension on farmland adjacent to the bypass.
Councillor Davenport said: “This is an exciting time for the future of Oswestry and for our road network.
"A regional freight strategy has just been published that sees the route as critical to the future of freight travel between the Midlands and Wales.
"We here in Shropshire have to do what we can to push for improvements to the strategic road network to link in with what the Welsh Government is doing."
Oswestry mayor, Councillor Vince Hunt, said: "The junction is something that has been in the thorn in the side of the town for some time.
"Anything that is going to improve the safety of the town and drivers is always welcome. Obviously this will bring some disruption to traffic flow in the town, but the work is a step in the right direction for the area."
As well as work on the trunk road, work will be carried out to widen the access to Weston Lane close to the junction.