The proposal sees Walsall Street and Lower Walsall Street used for westbound traffic, with eastbound traffic remaining on the existing A454 route. This will help allocate space towards facilities for journeys to be made by walking and/or cycling.

The A454 corridor between Wolverhampton and Walsall is crucial for local communities and businesses. This corridor is a high-traffic route to the city, particularly during peak times and currently does not provide high-quality facilities for journeys to be made by walking, cycling or bus. One of the key elements to the proposal is to utilise Walsall Street and Lower Walsall Street for westbound traffic. By doing this and keeping east bound traffic on the existing route, space can be allocated for facilities for journeys to be made by walking and/or cycling. This, alongside the other proposals within the project, will work towards journey reliability across all modes, quality pedestrian and cycling provision and creating an efficient travel link between Wolverhampton City Centre, the east of Wolverhampton and Walsall.

Start date: Construction to begin early 2025 
End date: Construction period – 18-24 months
Cost: £35 million 
Map: Option D map

Overview

Currently the A454 suffers from significant congestion and inability to accommodate multiple modes of transport.

The City East Gateway: A454 – Willenhall Road Phase 1 and 2 scheme focuses on improvements to the A454 Willenhall Road and Walsall Street/Lower Walsall Street. There will be a vast improvement to infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and vehicles. These improvements align with strategic policies in the Black Country Core Strategy, City of Wolverhampton Strategic Economic Plan 2019-2024 and Our City: Our Plan 2023/24.

The improvements will support multiple modes of transport and allow smoother traffic flows through a one-way two-lane system around Middle Cross Junction, Lower Horseley Fields, Lower Walsall Street and Walsall Street. Lower Walsall Street and Walsall Street improvements will facilitate west-bound traffic and link back into Middle Cross and Bilston Road Island. Improvements to Hickman Avenue and Old Heath Road junction will help reduce congestion issues. In addition, segregated cycling facilities will be introduced to offer inbound and outbound journeys by bicycle.  

City of Wolverhampton Council are working hard to complete this project as soon as possible and anticipate completion in early 2027.

Designs

We considered and assessed fourteen designs using the Department for Transport approved methodology. These were then the subject of public consultation.

We selected two of the fourteen options for further consideration. The Cabinet reviewed Options 1 & 5. They chose Option 5 for further development as it gave the best long-term benefits. Public consultation supported this opinion.

Benefits

  • Environmental Benefits:
    • Improve air quality by removing an air quality exceedance area
    • Introducing segregated cycling facilities to offer zero-emission travel by cycling and wheeling
    • Improving pedestrian facilities to encourage walking as a mode – increasing the share of zero-emission travel
    • Reduce traffic congestion across the East of Wolverhampton
       
  • Regeneration Benefits:
    • Create a more efficient road layout that supports journeys into and out of the City Centre by walking, cycling and vehicular transport
    • Support access to future regeneration projects and businesses
    • Provide more reliable journey times
       
  • Structural Benefits:
    • Improve road network
    • Regenerate City Centre 
    • Support future regeneration projects
       
  • Public Health Benefits:
    • Safer cycle routes 
    • Safe pedestrian walking facilities  
    • Reduction in polluted air near residential areas
       
  • Economic Benefits: 
    • Improve access to local businesses 
    • Encourage investment into neighbouring areas
    • Improve access to residential areas
    • Support major identified regeneration sites 

Current status

Application for funding being considered by the Department for Transport with an anticipated decision by early 2024.

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