Council pushes ahead with £35m Stafford access road

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image captionThe council says it hopes the road will divert traffic away from the town centre

A £35m proposed access road in Stafford has received the backing of county councillors.

Staffordshire County Council's cabinet has agreed to press ahead with a planning application for the 1km (0.6 mile) route.

The council said the route would provide access to 2,500 proposed new homes and divert town centre traffic.

But Green campaigners said the idea the road would reduce congestion or benefit Stafford residents was "just fantasy".

'Not a bypass'

The route is being partly funded by £16.1m from an £82.2m government growth deal.

Other funding is coming from the Local Enterprise Partnership and the council itself.

The road, between Martin Drive and Grey Friars Place, will link into a further section of carriageway being built by developers leading a plan to build 2,200 homes, in the west of Stafford.

The council said it hoped the road, which it plans to be completed by 2018, would divert traffic away from the town centre.

One of the town's former Green councillors, Tom Harris, who set up a group in opposition to the scheme, said: "This road is being built to provide access to 2,500 homes that are being developed on green belt land.

"My understanding is the road has to be built so the homes get built.

"This is not a bypass. The idea it will reduce congestion, improve the flow of traffic through Stafford or benefit the residents in any way is just fantasy."

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