Plans for a £19.6m package of transport improvements in and around Worcester will now go-ahead after a £14.2m funding bid was fully approved by Central Government.
Worcester Transport Strategy (Phase One), which is part of a long-term plan, contains a number of improvements aiming to make travel easier and boost the local economy. These include:
- Enhancements to the key junctions on the Southern Link road to improve traffic flow – particularly at peak times – which will help reduce transport costs for businesses and road-users.
- Investments in passenger and interchange facilities at Worcester Foregate Street and Malvern Link rail stations – This will include upgrades to the street-level, information and ticketing facilities, improvements to lighting, security and signage and new entrance canopies.
- New Transport Information Systems – Measures to provide road users with more accurate information on what’s happening on the transport network to improve efficiency. For example, Variable Message Signs to direct car drivers to city centre car parks that have availability and real time information at bus stops/stations for users of public transport.
- Investment in key transport corridors in and out of the city to improve the flow of traffic.
- Improved infrastructure for walking and cycling around the city including improved crossing facilities at key locations.
Cllr Simon Geraghty, County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy & Infrastructure, said: “This news is very welcome and a real boost for the area at the start of 2013. The plans included in Phase One of the Worcester Transport Strategy are all about improving things here and now, but it’s just as important to stress that they are part of a longer term project looking at making things better when it comes to how we get around.
“This first package of measures, which thankfully will now become a reality over the next couple of years, will help tackle the problem of congestion and, most importantly, remove barriers to economic development ensuring the area is very much ‘Open for Business’.”
The first projects to be started from WTS (Phase One) will be the improvements to Worcester Foregate Street and Malvern Link rail stations and the installation of Variable Message Signs in Worcester.
Work is expected to begin as early as March this year. The full package of measures will be completed by the end of 2015.