Lichfield’s Southern Bypass is a step closer to completion after Staffordshire County Council successfully bid for crucial funding.
The Department for Transport has allocated £5 million towards the £17.3m scheme, which will include money from the county council, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and a contribution from a housing developer.
The money will allow the construction of an underpass beneath the Cross City Line so then the missing stretch, measuring two-thirds of a kilometre and to be funded by a housing developer, can link Birmingham Road and Tamworth Road.
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:
I’m delighted we’ve successfully bid for this money for the Lichfield Southern Bypass, as it will improve traffic flow in the area, reduce town centre congestion and support the growth of housing and high quality jobs in the Lichfield area.
There’s been a team effort to achieve this and pave the way for Lichfield’s continued and future prosperity.”
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is now awaiting the business case to be submitted with a view to allocating £2.3m of its Growth Deal funding to the project.
Simon Marks, GBSLEP Board Director, said:
Realising Lichfield’s potential is in everyone’s interest, so today’s announcement is great news.
The bypass, which has already levered in £12m of funding from the private sector, is a hugely important piece of road infrastructure that will enable significant residential development to come forward. This scheme is a top priority for GBSLEP as part of our Strategic Economic Plan, and we look forward to working with colleagues in Staffordshire to deliver it.”
Cllr Ian Pritchard, Deputy Leader of Lichfield District Council, said:
This is fantastic news and I would like to congratulate our colleagues at Staffordshire County Council for securing the funding – we’ve been delighted to work alongside the team to support them in their application.
The completion of the Southern Bypass will help to boost Lichfield’s prosperity ever further by reducing congestion and making Lichfield an even more attractive place to live, work and set up businesses.”
The successful bid pointed out the reminder of the bypass had been built with private sector money and its completion will underpin the city’s future development.
The work, scheduled to be completed by 2020, will be done in such a way that a restored Lichfield and Hatherton canal could also pass under the Cross City Line, boosting tourism in the area.
The bid was also supported by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.