Trentham residents wait on sewage works' access road
RESIDENTS face having to wait at least another three years before finding out if a new access road will be constructed at a sewage treatment works.
Families in Trentham have been campaigning for Severn Trent Water to build a new road to its Strongford Sewage Works, above, for more than a decade.
They claim Barlaston Old Road is unsuitable for lorries using the site and want to see the trucks diverted along alternative routes.
Dozens of residents attended a public meeting at Trentham Hotel to be updated on the plan.
But they were told it will be at least three years before the work – if any – is carried out.
Severn Trent revealed it is looking at creating a new access road to divert traffic along the A34.
But the water giant told residents it cannot make a decision until at least 2016.
It is estimated the new road could cost around £1 million.
Severn Trent production manager Graham Morris said: "We need to figure out what this would actually cost.
"It will be a substantial expense and there is a significant amount of work to be done on this.
"We have no desire to be seen as bad neighbours. We are still considering the access to the works, but no decision has been made.
"And even if we do decide to progress with this, there are a number of obstacles to overcome, including land purchase, access rights and planning approval.
"The next stage is to weigh up the cost against the benefits and assess whether we can take this forward.
"We are looking at this seriously but the reality is that the next opportunity to construct a new access is after 2015."
The company claims the earliest the project could be considered would be in its next five-year business plan, which will be submitted in January next year.
Residents at the meeting accused Severn Trent of 'dragging its feet'.
Sheila Weightman, of Barlaston Old Road, said: "I thought more progress would have been made by now.
"This has been going on for about 12 years and we just want to know what is going to happen.
"Severn Trent has carried out a traffic assessment of Barlaston Old Road and says the road is fit for purpose, but the reality is different.
"We see it every day and they still can't accept that something needs to be done."
City Councillor Terry Follows believes the company should be moving faster.
He said: "I would hope that Severn Trent is taking this seriously and considering moving on this because Stoke-on-Trent is expanding.
"We have heard about plans to build houses on the Wedgwood estate and along Stanley Matthews Way, so we need a new road now, not in five years."
Councillor Peter Haywood added: "I will trust Severn Trent to work diligently on this, but rest assured, we aren't going to stop fighting for it."