Council calls for limited disruption as M6 upgrade works continue
Staffordshire County Council has made fresh calls for motorway bosses to limit disruption for residents living in parts of Stafford as M6 upgrade works continue.
The council has been working closely with Highways England, which manages the motorway network, and with the residents living on the main roads through Stafford being used as diversion routes during the M6 overnight closures.
The authority has already helped to get additional measures in place to help reduce disruption to people living on the routes.
However, it has written to HE once again regarding its plans for an additional six overnight closures for resurfacing towards the end of March.
David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council, said: “The upgrade of the M6 is an important project for Staffordshire and will help to improve traffic flow and boost our local economy.
“We know that a project of this scale will always come with a degree of inconvenience, but from the start we have worked closely with Highways England to make sure that every effort is made to minimise disruption to residents.
“We are incredibly disappointed to hear that a further six nights of overnight closures for resurfacing are required.
“We’ve also had no clear explanation on why the work can’t be done during the existing closures already planned for this month or if any alternatives such as lane closures have been explored.”
“It does feel that the additional nights of closure is the easiest option for Highways England, but the hardest option for residents in Stafford and our highways network,” he added.
“We have written to HE for clarification of their plans and have asked them to find alternative solutions that do not involve the unnecessary diversion of traffic through Stafford.
“Be assured, as a county council we are doing everything in our power to ensure that any inconvenience for local residents is kept to a minimum.”
Mitigation measures already introduced include additional diversion signs, speed warning signs and support from Police patrols to help slow down speeding drivers on the diversion routes.
Haulage companies have also been notified of the works, providing opportunity for some to avoid this section of the M6 for example by using the M1 and A50, and otherwise reminded that if travelling through Stafford then to follow the approved diversions and stick to the speed limit.
Highways England spokesperson, Peter Smith, said: “We are very sympathetic to concerns raised by those living on routes affected by overnight motorway closures and we’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption for residents and drivers.
“We have been forced to carry out these essential resurfacing works, in addition to the scheduled surfacing, due to the condition of the road and following a number of temporary pothole repairs.
“Safety is our number one priority and we need to deliver a permanent solution to the issue, which has been accelerated by the harsh winter conditions. To get this work done as quickly as possible we are laying 1,200 tonnes of asphalt each night – more than double a typical scheme.
“We’ve put in place a number of measures to alleviate residents’ concerns and we’ll continue to look at methods to limit the impact on those affected.”
The upgrade work taking place between Junction 13 and 15 is expected to be finished in September 2021.