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Drop-in event taking place ahead of 10 week closure of A521

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Residents and businesses are putting their questions to St Modwen staff, ahead of 10 weeks of road closures around a new Staffordshire housing development.

The A521 will be closed in both directions from the A50 Blythe Bridge roundabout to Uttoxeter Road from next Monday (7 October), while the developer constructs a site entrance and changes the road lay out ahead of work starting on a new 120 home scheme.

A new pedestrian crossing will also be included, along with new pavements on both sides of the road.

In a letter to residents, it says that it consulted with Staffordshire County Council and Highways England to look at other options, but the full closure was 'deemed the safest and least disruptive option for the workforce and road users'.

However the plans to close the road until the week before Christmas has been met with concern by some locals and councillors.

Moorlands District and County Councillor Keith Flunder said: "My fears are that it is going to be extremely chaotic in the first few days before people get the message.

"I am also very concerned about if there are any emergencies.

"The A521 is the main diversion route when the A50 is closed, and there doesn't appear to be anything else sorted long term."

The County Council says that emergency services have been made aware of the closure, and in the case of an incident on the A50, Highways England will implement signed diversions.

They also say highways crews are to work six days a week to deliver the scheme as quickly as possible.

Helen Fisher, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “These are essential road improvements to facilitate the new St Modwen housing development.

“With a scheme of this size, there will always be some disruption, but we will be working closely with the developer to make sure the work is done efficiently as possible, with its crews working 12-hour days to get the job done.

“We looked at all options for keeping one lane open to traffic, but this is not feasible due to the significant safety risks both members of the public and to highways crews. This would be further compounded by the need to manage traffic travelling from the A50.

“I would like to thank people in advance for their co-operation and patience while the work is being carried out.”

Cllr Flunder says he is concerned about the impact on local firms.

He said: "I am hoping there has been formal notification to business such as Alton Towers, as well as JCB and the quarries, and any other industries that use large wagons.

"Hopefully the message will get out to them not to bring their large wagons and cars through Blythe Bridge and along the A521 if they can possibly avoid it."

St Modwen is holding a drop-in event at Blythe Bridge & Forsbrook Village Hall today (2 October) from 2pm to 7pm for people to ask any further questions.

Further details can be found here: www.staffordshire.gov.uk/A521

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