£200m M54 and M6 link road gets Government backing
A plan to build a new dual carriageway linking the M54 and M6 has taken a major step forward after getting Government backing.
The £200 million road, which would carve a path through the countryside in a bid to cut congestion in South Staffordshire, has been included in the Government’s five-year, £27 billion Road Investment Strategy following the Budget.
It has given the project a major boost and transport chiefs are now calling for construction to begin as soon as possible.
Highways England submitted a formal application to build the road with the Government's Planning Inspector last month.
It is expected any work on the new road will not start until 2024 but transport body Midlands Connect hopes the Government backing could see the project fast-tracked.
Director of technical programmes Simon Statham said: “This project is a potential game-changer for the Midlands motorway network; it will make both long-distance and short journeys quicker and less congested, improving air quality as well as supporting ambitious economic growth plans for the region.
“It is important that construction gets underway as soon as possible so that road users can start to feel the benefits. We will continue to work collaboratively with Highways England, the Department for Transport and local authorities to ensure the scheme moves forward at pace.”
Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s transport boss, said: “We see the creation of the M54/M6 Link road as vital for the borough’s future prosperity and connectivity, so I am delighted that it has been included in the government’s Road Investment Strategy.
“We are continually striving to create a better borough and this can only help with inward investment.”
The link road would come close to both Featherstone and Shareshill and will aim to ease traffic on A-roads surrounding both motorways.
It will take around 22,000 vehicles off the A460 - which runs between Wolverhampton and Cannock - each day and also ease congestion on the A449 and A5, a Highways England spokesman previously said.
Critics say the road in its current design is too close to the village of Hilton and there are concerns about noise and pollution. Highways England has promised to include measures to limit noise, including installing noise-barriers and planting hedgerows and trees.