Relieving Congestion

Published Thursday, 17th March 2022

Tackling congestion using the £5m pledged by Cabinet in addition to £6.6 million won as part of a bid to Department for Transport.

Latest updates

17 March 2022

Major improvements to relieve congestion near Upton-upon-Severn taking shape

The new road layout, as part of major improvement works to relieve congestion at a busy rural junction near Upton-upon-Severn, is beginning to take shape.

The works have, so far, focused on transferring thousands of tonnes of material on to the site, to create the base for the new roundabout and road alignment, as well as the installation of new drainage and kerbing.

The works are being carried out by Worcestershire County Council to construct a new 4-arm roundabout to replace the current A38/A4104 staggered crossroad junction.

The majority of the works, so far, have taken place off the main public roads, but to allow the scheme to progress, various traffic management phases will be required on both the A38 and A4104 in the coming months.

For the full article, please read: Major improvements to relieve congestion near Upton-upon-Severn taking shape

21 December 2021

Iron Age settlement unearthed on site of Upton A38 roundabout works

An Iron Age settlement dating from around 2,250 years ago, was recently discovered on the site of a new roundabout being built near Upton-upon-Severn.

The discovery was made during the planning phase of the improvements being made by Worcestershire County Council to tackle congestion at the A38/A4104 staggered crossroad junction.

The site was first spotted on aerial photos and an initial investigation to find out more was carried out in late 2020. This revealed pottery which indicated that the site was a Middle Iron Age settlement, with an unusually large ditched enclosure at its heart.

For the full story, please read: Iron Age settlement unearthed on site of Upton A38 roundabout works

25 November 2021

Improvement works to tackle congestion at Kidderminster’s Hoobrook Roundabout are now operating

The junction now includes additional lanes and signalisation on the three main arms of the roundabout to help improve the flow of traffic up to and around the roundabout.

Additional works have also taken place to reconfigure the circulation of vehicles around the roundabout as well as the splitter islands at each junction.

As part of the project, some footways in the area have been widened and an upgraded crossing has been installed on Chester Road South.

For the full story, please read: Improvement works to tackle congestion at Kidderminster's Hoobrook Roundabout are now operating

20 July 2021

Works to start on major improvements to relieve congestion near Upton-upon-Severn

Major improvement works to relieve congestion at a busy rural junction near Upton-upon-Severn are set to get underway next week.

The works being carried out by Worcestershire County Council as part of the ongoing Relieving Congestion Programme aim to tackle the congestion hotspot at the A38/A4104 staggered crossroad junction.

Works will commence on Monday 26 July to construct a new 4-arm roundabout to replace the current staggered junction arrangement, with the western A4104 approach from Upton-upon-Severn being realigned to tie into the roundabout.

Facilities for pedestrians and cyclists will be improved with the provision of crossing locations on all arms of the roundabout and three metre wide shared footway/cycleways.

For the full story, please read: Works to start on major improvements to relieve congestion near Upton-upon-Severn

9 February 2021

Major improvements to relieve congestion near Upton given the green light

The planning application submitted for major improvement works to relieve congestion at a busy rural junction near Upton has been given the green light to go ahead.

As part of Worcestershire County Council’s ongoing Relieving Congestion Programme, the congestion hotspot at the A38/A4104 staggered crossroad junction will see a big improvement now planning has been approved at the County’s Planning and Regulatory Committee. 

The existing junction is made up of a staggered single-lane arrangement. The A38 in this location is a single carriageway road, which runs to the M50 Motorway and Tewkesbury in the south and Worcester in the north.

The A4104 is also a single carriageway road, which runs to Pershore to the north-east and to Upton-Upon-Severn and Little Malvern to the west. 

The route is important for users travelling from the M5 Motorway and provides access to destinations such as the ‘Three Counties Showground’ and the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as well as a number of events that are usually held within Upon-upon-Severn and the surrounding area throughout the year. 

With the current junction arrangement, particularly during peak time traffic, queueing is generated on both the A38 and A4104. The County Council identified that the junction requires improvements to alleviate this problem and to provide more efficient traffic flows as well as providing a better junction for users.

For the full story, please read: Major improvements to relieve congestion near Upton given the green light

14 January, 2021

Work to start on Hoobrook Junction Improvements

Works to improve the busy Hoobrook Junction in Kidderminster are set to start later this month. 

This scheme is part of Worcestershire County Council’s multi-million pound programme of works to relieve congestion hot spots across the county. 

Hoobrook is a busy roundabout providing connectivity between the A442 Worcester Road, A449 Chester Road South, A449 Worcester Road and Wilden Lane, which currently experiences congestion at both morning and afternoon peak times.

The improvement works, which are planned to be completed by the Autumn, include additional lanes and signalisation on the three main arms and the roundabout itself to improve the flow and manoeuvrability of traffic. 

This will be further achieved by reconfiguring the central island and the splitter islands at each junction, including Wilden Lane approach. 

As part of the scheme, some footways in the area will also be widened to create improved footway and cycleway where possible, along with an upgraded crossing on Chester Road South. 

For the full story, please read: Work to start on Hoobrook Junction improvements

17 November, 2020

First Phase of St John’s works nearing completion

The first phase of the St John’s congestion relief scheme is set to complete before the end of this month.

Improvement works in St John’s will pause over the Christmas period from the start of December in order to give local businesses some construction free weeks at their busiest time of year.

Works will resume in early January with the scheme due for completion in March, subject to weather and COVID 19 restrictions. 

Throughout December, the majority of traffic management in the area will be removed, with a minimum amount remaining until the works restart.

For the full story, please read: First phase of St John's works nearing completion

05 May, 2020

Work set to start in St John's

Work is set to start later this month on a further scheme within the County Council’s Relieving Congestion programme in Worcester.

The work in St. John’s follows other successful improvement work in the city.

Other completed projects include the Croft Road crossing, the Sidbury /City Walls Road area and the A44 London Road/ Deansway/Bridge St corridor.

The main feature of the works in St John’s will be a formal controlled crossing at the junction of The Bullring and the traffic signals at New Rd/Tybridge Street. 

The scheme will also see:

  • Improved crossing facilities on Henwick Road and Bush Walk.
  • Better carriageway widths for vehicles travelling through St John’s.
  • The removal of pinch-points that hinder traffic flow.
  • Upgrades to traffic signal technology, drainage and street lighting.
  • Enhanced conservation style kerb and blockwork improvements throughout the area.

For the full story, please read: Work set to start in St John's

10 February, 2020

Green light for Go at Asda Controlled Crossing

Work is starting this month to install a signalised pedestrian crossing on Pheasant Street, near Asda in Worcester. This will replace the current zebra crossing.

As part of Worcestershire County Council’s programme to relieve congestion across the county, this scheme follows improvements at Sidbury and Croft Road in Worcester. 

Work is planned to start from Monday 24th February and to minimise disruption to traffic, much of the work will be completed at night.

Working hours will be 9pm to 5:30am Monday to Friday. 

For the full story, please read: Green light for go at Asda controlled crossing

13 January, 2020

£5 million extra to be spent on tackling congestion

An additional £5m of funding to continue the relieving congestion programme across the county, has been announced by Worcestershire County Council in their draft budget.

This proposed funding is additional to the £5 million in previous years and the £6.6 million awarded by the Department for Transport (DfT).

For the full story, please read: £5 million extra to be spent on tackling congestion

24 October, 2019

Final works on Commandery Road to begin next week

The final work to improve the area near Sidbury Junction in Worcester, will start next week. 

The area at the bottom of Commandery Road will be improved with a programme of works following the completion of the scheme this week by Worcestershire County Council to upgrade the signals and improve the junction at Sidbury.

The County Council and Worcester City Council are working together to fund the improvements at what is described as a ‘gateway to the City’. They will be introducing a new pedestrian and seating area along with the restoration of an avenue of trees and new bespoke wildflower planters.

For the full story, please read: Final works on Commandery Road to begin next week

10 June, 2019

Sidbury Junction improvement scheme to start next week 

Works to improve traffic flow in one of the busiest areas of Worcester City are set to start next week.

The improvements on the Sidbury Junction area will be completed by Worcestershire County Council and will include replacing the traffic light system, extending approach lanes and installing a new signal-controlled pedestrian crossing.

Councillor Alan Amos, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways, said: “It’s great news that work will soon start to improve one of the busiest parts of the city.

“Once the work is complete, the Sidbury Junction will benefit from modern technologies that help to improve traffic flow, vastly improving this busy area for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

“This is part of a wider programme of works that highlights the County Council’s commitment to relieving congestion across the county.”

A key part of the works is the replacement of the almost 50-year-old traffic light system with signals that use the latest technology. The new signals will regularly monitor traffic conditions and will adjust how long a particular light remains green based on the level of traffic.

To improve traffic flow along the City Walls Road from the north, the approach lanes will be extended to enable vehicles to get into the correct lane earlier. 

There will also be improvements for pedestrians and cyclists with the installation of a new signal-controlled pedestrian crossing. This will be installed at the northern end of Commandery Road and will include a central refuge to make it more user-friendly for pedestrians. 

All the work will take place between Clare Street in the north, Wylde’s Lane in the east, the southern end of Commandery Road where it joins Bath Road and Cathedral Square in the west.

Although most of the daytime work will be carried out during the school holidays to minimise disruption. The initial works to carry out installation of ducting will start during the week commencing Monday 17 June, when there will be up to seven successive overnight closures between 8pm and 6am. The overnight work will be carried out in phases and will restrict the number of routes that are closed at any one time to minimise the impact of the work. Any diversions that are necessary will be signposted.  

During the works, the current traffic signals will need to be removed and temporary signals will be installed until the new signals are in operation.

31 May, 2019

Sidbury Junction Improvement Scheme

Works to improve traffic flow in one of the busiest areas of Worcester are set to start in June.

The improvements on the Sidbury Junction area will be completed by Worcestershire County Council and will include replacing the traffic light system, extending approach lanes and installing a new signal-controlled pedestrian crossing.

More information will be available in the coming weeks.
 

28 May, 2019

Improvements to Sanders Park, Bromsgrove

Work has now started on a programme of works to install a series of new, wider paths to improve walking and cycling routes through Sanders Park in Bromsgrove.

The programme of works includes a new 3.50m wide shared path which will run from Whitford Road in the east to Kidderminster Road to the north then south down to Watt Close. 

There is also a 2.0m wide path being installed that will go from Leadbetter Drive across the playing fields to the small bridge over Battlefield Brook.

The wider paths will allow the park to be accessed by more users during all times of the year in all weathers.
 

17 May, 2019

Road closures on Croft Road to take place from this Sunday

The programme of works aimed at relieving congestion along Croft Road in Worcester are progressing well.

The scheme is on schedule to be completed at the end of the month.

To achieve this, the existing road surface needs to be removed and replaced on its new alignment.

This replacement will take place on the evening of Sunday 19th May between 5:30pm and 6am and the evenings of Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd May (inclusive) between 9pm and 6am.

It is anticipated that the majority of works planned for Sunday 19th May can be completed under two-way temporary traffic lights with a full road closure only being required after midnight; however, the road will be fully closed on the other evenings for safety reasons.

A diversion will be signposted for motorists during the road closures. Pedestrians will be largely unaffected during the works due to the installation of the temporary crossing and minor pedestrian diversions, which will are already in place.

Access to the Cattle Market Car Park from Croft Road will remain closed for the duration of the scheme, so vehicles wishing to use the car park are advised to use The Butts entrance.

 

Programme of works aimed at relieving congestion along Croft Road in Worcester are progressing well.

 

2 April, 2019

Croft Road improvement scheme to start next week

The scheme, which is set to improve traffic flow in the area and provide a safer crossing for those who use this busy road, is due to start next week.
 
The improvements, which are being completed by Worcestershire County Council, include the upgrade of the existing uncontrolled (Zebra) crossing to a controlled pedestrian and cycle (Toucan) crossing, removal of the existing roundabout near the entrance to the Cattle Market Car Park and an improved road alignment with updated car park access.
 
To improve the road alignment ahead of the new crossing being introduced, the current mini roundabout needs to be removed and this is the first work to be completed as part of the scheme.

Whilst this takes place, temporary traffic signals will be required. Once the work to remove the roundabout is complete, the temporary traffic signals will be removed as the majority of the remaining works can be completed off the carriageway without any major impact on traffic.

At the end of the scheme, the road will be closed overnight for a few nights from 9pm to 6am for resurfacing works. A diversion route will be signposted for vehicles.
 
For the duration of the scheme, the access to the Cattle Market Car Park from Croft Road will be closed so vehicles wishing to use the car park are advised to use The Butts entrance.
 
Pedestrians will be unaffected during the works, due to the installation of a temporary crossing and minor pedestrian diversions which will be in place at all times.

14 March, 2019

Work on the first of several major crossing improvements in Bromsgrove will begin this month.

Worcestershire County Council is making the improvements, thanks to the £3.4m National Productivity Investment Fund funding awarded to them by the Department for Transport (DfT) last year.

The zebra crossing along Windsor St, Bromsgrove is the first to undergo improvement works,
with onsite works due to start on the week commencing Monday, 18 March.

For the full story, please read: Latest updates on Bromsgrove's walking and cycling enhancements

February 25, 2019

As previously communicated, the overall aim of the Sidbury junction improvement scheme, which will see the introduction of new signalling equipment to update the current 40 year old installation, will be to improve the efficiency of the signals. The upgrade will allow the sites to 'communicate' to each other when traffic flows vary and green light timings need to alter. The wider scheme will also consider enhancements to street lighting, footways and crossing facilities.

To introduce a signalised crossing at the bottom of Commandery Road, the central reservation will need to be widened. This in turn means that we will then need to move the carriageway and then the footway over into the slabbed area where the trees were.

In preparation for the works, three trees had to be removed from the bottom of Commandery Road ahead of the bird nesting season at the start of March to ensure that no nesting birds are affected by the removal of the trees. We will be planting replacement trees once the scheme is complete.

Main works are due to start later this year and we will be sharing more details of scheme closer to the time.

We always do what we can to prevent the removal of healthy street trees. When we absolutely have to, we always have a replanting strategy in place. Unfortunately, without the removal of these 3 trees, we would be unable to fully make the much needed improvements to this area with the aim of improving crossing facilities and relieving congestion.

February 4, 2019

Action for Congestion Hotspots

Work will begin on three key congestion hotspots in Worcester over the next 12 months.

Croft Road by The Hive, Sidbury and St John's will undergo improvements with the aim of relieving congestion.

The works are mainly funded through a successful bid of £3.2 million to Worcestershire County Council from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The funding, which has come via the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), is ring-fenced for investment in areas that are key to boosting productivity including for local roads. The funding is focussed to tackle known congestion 'pinch points' and inefficient junctions along the main A44 west-east axis through the City Centre. This includes the sections between St Johns and Sidbury, as well as Croft Road to the north and all the key approaches to these areas.

At Croft Road, the current zebra crossing enables more than 2,000 pedestrians and nearly 200 cyclists to cross that part of the A449 on an average day without signalised control.

This leads to frequent and long interruptions to the traffic flow in both directions along this route as well as affecting the signals to the south at Dolday.

Plans for Croft Road, which include the introduction of a signal controlled Toucan crossing in addition to amending access to the Cattlemarket carpark, are currently being finalised.

The County Council anticipate these improvements will commence before the summer with more details being released in the next couple of months.

Another focus for the Council is improvement to the Sidbury and City Walls Road signalised junctions. 

The overall aim, which will see the introduction of new signalling equipment to update the current 40 year old installation, will be to improve the efficiency and intelligence between the two sites.

The upgrade will allow the sites to 'communicate' to each other when traffic flows vary and green light timings need to alter. This scheme will also consider enhancements to street lighting, footways and crossings facilities. Works are anticipated to start later this year and more details will be confirmed closer to the start date.

The third hotspot for improvement is St John's. The Council is planning to improve road widths, pavements and crossing facilities to make it easier for all those using the area to move around. Initial designs for the scheme have begun with more details planned for release in the autumn.

Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways, Cllr Alan Amos said: "It's great news that we will soon be in a position to share more details on these key schemes after a period of closely evaluating the issue and potentials solution available.

"Cutting congestion remains a priority for the council and with the additional funding proposed for the next 3 years, even more can be done to tackle the hotspots around the county".

The Council is also proposing a further £5 million, over 3 years, in this year's budget to tackle four hotspots in Kidderminster, Evesham, Bromsgrove and the staggered junction just outside of Upton upon Severn. The budget is due to be considered at the next full council meeting on 14 February.

Some of the funding to relieve congestion announced in a previous budget, has already been used to improve signals at key junctions across the city such as Shrub Hill/Midland Road. Seabright Avenue/London Road and the signals outside of Waitrose on London Road. These improvements include adding new technology which ensures that more time is given to the priority flow of traffic and therefore reducing congestion. Next on the list is to roll out junction improvements at North Quay crossing, Dolday and The Butts.

In addition, another £3.6m NPIF funded scheme, which focuses on improving walking and cycling routed in Bromsgrove, is well underway.

Sites outside of the City also include improvements at Queen Street -Droitwich, Worcester Road Kidderminster, Icknield Street Drive, Redditch and Evesham Road, Astwood Bank.

Croft Road by The Hive, Sidbury and St Johns will undergo improvements with the aim of reducing congestion.

December 18 

Works are almost completed on the A442 Worcester Road, Kidderminster, where the hatched section of dual carriageway was causing severe tailbacks. The restriction was removed back in May, repairing the surface, enhancing the signing and lining on the approaches, as well as introducing improvements at the A4442 Silverwood Way signals. Further markings to the carriageway are on order and will further enhance this well-received improvement.
 
At the Tallow Hill/Shrub Hill traffic lights in Worcester, the signals and their phasing have been upgraded and improved flows should now be seen for those using the junction, including the bus route between the hospital and City. We have some fine tuning to carry out with the phases of these signals which are imminent.
 
In Redditch, where Icknield Street Drive meets the Warwick Highway, queuing traffic was raised as a concern so a widened section of carriageway has been introduced on the southern approach to the island during the late summer. This has seen the lane capacity double for both manoeuvres, allowing left/straight on and right turning traffic function far more efficiently.

Bromsgrove Town centre will be part of a Network Review starting this winter as we look into the best options to assist drivers using the junctions between the A448 Kidderminster Road and the signalised junction at Stourbridge Road. The improvements from the recommendations should see an improvement to the mixture of mini roundabouts, uncontrolled and signalised junctions

Improvement works on the phasing of signals have already taken place behind the scenes along the A44, including Waitrose, Seabright, the crossings at the river bridge & North Parade and New Road/Tybridge St island.

Works are still ongoing at other signals located at Copenhagen St, Deansway crossing, Dolday/The Butts with these being scheduled for completion in early 2019.

Plans are also nearing completion for the improvements to the crossing on Croft Road as well the major overhaul of the City Walls Rd/Sidbury junction. More details on these plans will be shared early next year with work starting summer 2019.