EXCLUSIVE: Plans Revealed For New East-West Corridor To Open Up The Midlands
Plans for a substantial upgrade of the A5 are due to be published this summer by Midlands Connect, the sub-regional transport authority for the Midlands, said an official strategy document, Our Routes To Growth, published this week.
The new corridor would overcome a lack of capacity which "will constrain the delivery of planned residential and employment growth in the area, particularly in the A38–M1 section [of the A5]," a technical background document buried on the Midlands Connect website said.
“The A5 could become a crucial east-west corridor across the Midlands, supporting job and housing growth," the Our Routes To Growth document added. "Initially focusing on the section between the M6 Jct 12 and M1 Jct 18, we are working with partners and businesses to inform suggestions for infrastructure interventions and maximise benefits to residents, as well as raising the scheme’s public profile.
“Our initial study is due to be published in summer 2018, with our strategic outline business case for interventions due later in the year. The study will focus on a series of transport improvements to accelerate growth in the corridor and the region.”
The results of value-for-money studies are due to be published soon.
Speed Of Travel Just 21 MPH
Three A5 dualing options are being considered:
1. Improvements to the A5 between A38/M6 Toll and M1 Jct 18.
2. Upgrade to expressway between A38/M6 Toll to M1 Jct 18 including Hinckley Southern bypass.
3. Upgrade to expressway between A38/M6 Toll to M1 Jct 18 including Hinckley Northern bypass.
Background technical notes reveal that today average journey times can be as slow as to 21 to 30 miles per hour from Cannock to the A38 junction due to its single carriageway nature. The Cannock section of the A38 route is within the top 10% nationally for vehicle hours delay. The A5 between the A5148 and A38 also has an unreliable journey time (115th nationally).
Average speeds from Tamworth to Hinckley are 31 to 40 mph, dropping to 21 to 30 mph near to the M69 junction. Speeds increase to 41 to 70 mph between the M69 and M1 near Rugby. Stretches of this section are within the top 10% of delay. The A5 between Hinckley and Nuneaton (eastbound) is the 15th least reliable link nationally, while reliability is also poor westbound.
This is due to the section being single carriageway and the delays at junctions at Dodwells and Longshoot. The low railway bridge between Dodwells and the M69 on the A5 provides a constraint for high sided vehicles, a particular issue with the A5 if used as a diversion route.