The proposed new junction at M6 Junction 10 will help facilitate growth at the Black Country Enterprise Zone in Darlaston and help deliver the Black Country Core Strategy – the long-term spatial plan for the area.
The new design for the £64.5m scheme has been chosen by Walsall Council and Highways England to reduce congestion, increase safety and improve links for businesses in the area. The current junction, built in the 1960s will be replaced to avoid the need for extensive maintenance.
Around 8,000 vehicles pass through the junction every hour during peak periods but this new design will increase its capacity to 10,500 vehicles per hour.
The two year scheme will improve highway capacity and reduce vehicle delays via new widened bridges over the M6, improvements to the junction slip roads, modifications to adjacent local roads and the installation of new ‘intelligent traffic signals.’ The scheme will also improve accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians.
Councillor Lee Jeavons, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Transport and Regeneration at Walsall Council said: “The busy route between Walsall and Wolverhampton is often heavily congested which has an impact on local residents and businesses, while reducing the attractiveness of the local area for investment. The new chosen design is seen as the most effective at reducing congestion, offering the best value for money and will improve safety for all road users.
“Changes to the roundabout will not only reduce travel time for motorists, but will also be more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians.
“Improving the road network in the region will support the Darlaston area of the Black Country Enterprise Zone, which totals around 45 hectares of land. Inevitably, we hope to encourage more businesses to stay and hopefully, invest in the region.”
Highways England project manager, David Reed said: “This major upgrade of M6 Junction 10 will deliver more reliable journey times and improve safety, while removing the need for extensive ongoing maintenance and the inconvenience that causes.
“Improved traffic flows will in turn benefit businesses and encourage development opportunities, providing a significant boost to the Midlands economy.”
The project is being jointly funded by Highways England and Walsall Council via the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.
If planning consent is successful, construction is due to start in late 2018.
The Local Planning Authority is required to undertake a formal period of public consultation, prior to deciding the outcome of the planning application. Formal comments can be submitted to the planning authority by contacting PlanningM6J10@walsall.gov.uk
The planning application will be available to view on the Walsall Planning Authority portal: www.walsall.gov.uk/PlanningM6J10