pressing ahead with improvements

Funding for improvement works to the A50/500 corridor between Stoke and Derby was announced as part of the Government’s Network North campaign in October. Midlands Connect has refreshed its evidence to Government to make the case for the investment and move forward with this important scheme. Proposals developed by Midlands Connect will see parts of the road layout reconfigured to improve road safety and ease traffic flow.

Maria Machancoses, Chief Executive of Midlands Connect, the sub-national Transport Body for the Midlands, said: “This 44-mile long A50/A500 North Midlands Manufacturing Corridor generates an economic output of around £20.3 billion from the areas of Derby, and the Stoke-on-Trent conurbation.

“It is a major through route between the M1 to the East and the M6 to the West. Its economy is dominated by road-reliant industries like manufacturing, automotive, and distribution.

“As such, the A50/A500 is a nationally significant trade and export artery and we are engaging with local and national partners so we can progress with our proposals at pace following the Network North announcement – key to supporting growth along the corridor.”

Midlands Connect met with Burton MP Kate Kniveton, to discuss the plans. She has been campaigning for investment and improvements to the A50 for years.

Kate Kniveton, MP for Burton, said: “We have world-renowned businesses along this corridor and they need to be able to plan ahead and know that issues with this critical route will be addressed.

“Improvements are needed to help ease congestion, tackle delays and improve air quality.

“There are a couple of specific roundabouts creating serious pinch points that disrupt traffic flow, but it is also important to look at the whole corridor.

“Improvements will benefit housing development in the wider area, and support jobs and economic growth.”

Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, Philip White, said:

“The A50/A500 corridor is a critical east/west route for Staffordshire and the wider region, and we’re pleased to be part of the Midlands Connect partnership making the case for these improvements to the Government.

“Now this has been included in the projects listed under the Network North proposals we want the Government to ensure it delivers on its commitments.

“This transport corridor is set to become a national hub for the manufacture of hydrogen engines for vehicles from cars to aeroplanes, in addition to plant and machinery.

“Streamlining the route supports our collective ambition to ensure it can become a global centre of excellence in this sector in the future. Delays along the route currently experienced restrict growth, increase costs and cause significant inconvenience.”