Changes to the A5 Watling Street – Chase Road junction

I notice today a press release from the Highways Agency, pointing out that they’re planning on tweaking the busy and very important junction on the main route betweeen Brownhills and Burntwood. I’m highlighting it because I cross this junction regularly, and frankly, the current timings tend to be awful. If you miss a green you can be waiting a long time for the lights to change, particularly if crossing the A5 towards Brownhills.

Let’s hope this improves the junction a little, and that any delays caused by the work aren’t too bad.

The Highways Agency is planning to replace the left turn traffic signals with a give way system on the A5 eastbound at the junction with Ogley Hay Road, to reduce delays currently being experienced by road users wishing to join the A5195.

The works will also change the timings of the remaining signals and improve destination signs to further reduce congestion at the junction.

The Highways Agency has identified that the left hand turn signals on the eastbound A5 are causing unnecessary delays to road users. Removing the traffic lights, which were installed in 2003 when the junction was upgraded as part of the M6 Toll scheme, and replacing them with a give way system should reduce congestion whilst maintaining safety at the junction.

Existing road signs will also be replaced to give clearer directions to local destinations via the A5 or M6 Toll.

Work is expected to begin on Wednesday 19 January 2011 and will take up to three weeks to complete, weather permitting. This work had initially been planned to start in December 2010, but was postponed due to severe weather. Work will be undertaken in a number of phases and will require the closure of the left turn filter road into the B5011 Chase Road and various lane closures which will be clearly signposted when required.

To reduce the impact on road users, the work will be carried out overnight between 22:00hrs and 06:00hrs and during off peak periods of 09:30hrs to 15:30hrs.

Road users on the A5 eastbound wishing to turn left at the junction will need to continue on to the A5 Hanney Hay Road roundabout, turn around onto the westbound carriageway and turn right at the lights.

Charlotte Foster, Highways Agency project manager, said:

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve journey times and our research has shown that removing these lights should improve the flow of traffic at the junction without compromising safety.

“During the works, the impact on road users should be minimal, but we advise leaving some additional time to complete journeys around the junction due to the small diversion route in place and possible lane closures.”

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