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Second phase of north Worcestershire highway works gets backing from bosses
THE expansion of a £12.4 million road has been given the go-ahead in Worcestershire – unlocking the pot-ential to create thousands more jobs.
The county council’s Conservative leadership has ag-reed to back phase two of the Hoo Brook Link Road, which will connect the A451 Stour-port Road to the A442 Worcester Road in Kidderminster.
Work is underway on phase one – a 600-metre long two-way carriageway costing £4.9 million funded by the Department for Transport.
Now, the cabinet has agreed to endorse phase two, which will provide a link over the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal and River Stour through to the A442 Worcester Road.
The main aim of the works is to ease congestion in and around the Wyre Forest area and unlock new sites for development, including the former British Sugar site in Kidderminster.
It follows concerns that too many old industrial sites in north Worcestershire are not attractive enough for major employers because the existing road network is so old.
During a cabinet meeting at County Hall, politicians said it was “essential” to improve the developmentprospects of Worcestershire.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and the cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure ,said: “The total cost of this road is £2.4 million, so it’s a substantial investment.
“What we want to do now is move forward – this is a key moment for the scheme.”
Coun John Campion, cabinet member for tranformation and commissioning, said: “This matter is of vital importance to residents.
“They want to see this area of Kidderminster unlocked for growth, and this infrastructure is essential."
Coun Liz Eyre, the cabinet member responsible for children and families, said: “This is about creating more opportunities for our children – it will help change people’s lives.”
The council has secured £5 million from the Department for Transport, and the kitty is being boosted by £1 million from Wyre Forest District Council and private developers.
The next step is approval from County Hall’s planning committee, expected in early 2014 and construction will start in the spring of 2015, with the second phase complete in January 2016.
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