The joint project by Wolverhampton City Council and transport authority Centro will see a raft of upgrades to Stafford Road.
These include improved traffic management, enhanced park and ride and cycling facilities and the use of cutting edge communications technology including CCTV to improve traffic management.
The project, due for completion in spring 2015, will also explore ways of providing Wi-Fi onboard buses travelling the route.
The announcement by the Department for Transport that it had awarded the city council and Centro £1 million towards the project is a major boost for ongoing plans to overhaul transport links to i54.
It also complements other employment and housing developments taking place along Stafford Road such as at the Goodyear site and the various regeneration projects in the city centre.
Councillor Judith Rowley, Centro’s lead member for Wolverhampton, said: “It’s vital we have the right transport links in place for people to access these new job opportunities.
“The improvements should greatly improve the flow of traffic for all road users and make it easier for people to reach i54 by public transport or even by bicycle. This is just the start, however, and we intend to improve links still further.”
Councillor Peter Bilson, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity at Wolverhampton City Council, said “I am delighted that we have been awarded this funding from the Department for Transport for improvements between i54 and Wolverhampton city centre.
“Improving the ease of movement for people on this major route is fundamental to the regeneration of this high profile area of the city and will support the anticipated future growth in business, housing and traffic.”
The package of improvements will include:
- upgraded bus shelters with real time information at key locations
- additional cycling infrastructure
- a refurbished Park and Ride site with new signage
- improvements to existing traffic lights, including bus detection technology which keeps them on green if a bus is approaching
- upgraded pedestrian crossings, again using bus detection technology
- variable message signage
- wireless communication and CCTV to allow improved traffic management and Wi-Fi on buses.
i54 South Staffordshire, a joint project between Wolverhampton City Council, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council, has already attracted a number of global companies including Aerospace company MOOG, food testing specialists Eurofins and Jaguar Land Rover.
Jaguar Land Rover’s new £500 million engine manufacturing centre is currently under construction bringing with it almost 1,400 new jobs by 2017 and thousands more in the supply chain.
ISP (International Security Printers) is the latest company to invest in the site and recently started work on a new 5 acre development.