Councils' £13m plan to slash delays and reduce congestion
MULTI-MILLION pound plans have been unveiled to reduce congestion and dramatically speed up journeys across North Staffordshire.
The major overhaul of the region's transport system is designed to relieve some of the most congested roads in the UK outside London.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council's landmark joint bid aims to get cars off the roads, with workers and students instead travelling by bikes and buses.
The £13.7 million scheme to help kick-start the region's economy involves:
Fixed fee sales package for any residential property, just £325 +vat. Includes listing on all major portals e.g. Rightmove & Zoopla, floorplans, photos, for sale board, etc. Call for more details.
Terms: All prices subject to VAT. Terms and Conditions apply. E&OE.
Contact: 01782 900100
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Tailor-made bus routes to cut commuting times between Keele University, Newcastle, Stoke station, the University Quarter and Hanley;
Laying thousands of metres of uninterrupted cycle lanes;
Traffic management at junctions and lights to help buses beat the queues;
Increasing the number of buses to key employment sites such as Trentham Lakes, Etruria Valley and Chatterley Whitfield.
The proposals are part of a masterplan to create a network of "employment corridors" spanning the city and county to lure new businesses and bring jobs.
County councillor Mike Maryon, cabinet member for highways, said: "In order to grow existing businesses and attract new companies we need a well-maintained road network transport links. These two factors are intrinsically connected, which is why this bid is vital to north Staffordshire, an area been hit hard by the recession."
The two councils have bid for £5 million funding from the Department of Transport to reduce the current 55-minute bus journey from Keele to the city centre to 35 minutes.
If the application is successful, both authorities and several organisations will top up the funding to £8.6 million.
The city council has made a second bid for £4.1 million to be increased to £5.1 million with council and business contributions, to improve travel between the south and north of the Potteries. Cash would be invested in traffic management projects designed to link city residents with sites like the flourishing Keele University Science Park – and bring county residents into the city to work and shop.
Evidence compiled as part of the bid shows the region's A-roads are among the country's slowest, contributing to unreliable bus journeys, while major gaps in the cycle path network rules out cycling to work for many.
City councillor Adrian Knapper, who oversaw the bids, said: "This demonstrates our ambition and commitment to make Stoke-on-Trent a sustainable city and improve transport options for our residents."
Josh Barlow, aged 25, of Madeley, said: "It's is a lot of money and I hope it's spent wisely and where it is most needed."
The Department for Transport is set to decide on the bids this summer.