Roundtable to be held today (Tuesday 24th January) at 5.00pm in Parliament
MPs and regional leaders have gathered in Westminster today (Tuesday 24th January) at 5.00pm to call for improvements to the A50/A500. At the meeting they will be joined by senior officials from the Department for Transport and National Highways.
Event chair Kate Kniveton MP called for “urgent intervention to move these plans along and speed the route to delivery”.
A ‘masterplan’ was launched for the A50/A500 in February 2022 outlining nine schemes that, if delivered could ease congestion along the whole route. The lynchpin of that work is important in and around Uttoxeter. As part of the work Midlands Connect found out that upgrades to the A500 and A50 could save motorists 37 minutes a day – and create 12,000 jobs across the region.
The proposals include developing a package of capacity enhancements at junctions between Blythe and Sudbury on the central section of the A50 corridor (around Uttoxeter) which will reduce journey times, improve reliability and safety.
Local MPs, council leaders and businesses are now asking for the project to be included in the upcoming Road Investment Strategies (RIS) and other schemes along the route to be included in future rounds, covering the period 2025 to 2040.
Event chair and Project Champion for the North Midlands Manufacturing Corridor, Kate Kniveton MP said:
“I am pleased to have chaired today’s meeting in Westminster on proposals for major upgrades to the A50/A500 corridor.
“My constituents will know all too well the existing problems with this vital trunk road and the impact this has on local streets and communities in and around Uttoxeter.
“An urgent intervention to move these plans along and speed the route to delivery is required. That is why we have brought everyone, MPs, officials and business leaders together today to discuss these plans and to seek a resolution to see the proposals move forward.
“My local parliamentary colleagues and I will continue to bang the drum for this investment which would bring real benefits to not just my residents in Burton and Uttoxeter but for all those who use this road right across our region.”
Maria Machancoses, CEO of Midlands Connect added:
“Last year we outlined a masterplan for the A50 and A500 and we are pushing the project forward; creating a business cases and producing the evidence for the government and National Highways to look at and make a ultimate recommendation.
“I believe this route is of national significance and the benefits upgrades could bring to this area we believe to be a colossal £12 billion. The A50/A500 if upgraded, could be a real engine of economic growth for the whole country.”
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 it is a priority to us to be involved in the Midlands Connect partnership to make the case for these improvements to the Government.
“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 will support our collective ambition to ensure it can become a global centre of excellence in this sector in the future.
“Delays along the route restrict growth, increase costs and cause significant inconvenience. The Uttoxeter proposals are a vital first step in addressing this.
“Our communities and businesses overwhelmingly support the plans, which would build on our previous successful redevelopment with National Highways of the A50 Uttoxeter junction close to JCB.”