The A34 gap stays open – for now

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The proposed gap closure on the A34 at Whitemill Lane opposite Stone Fire Station has been put on hold while residents’ objections are considered. Closing the gap would prevent vehicles making the right turn out of or into Whitemill Lane from the A34.

More than 150 people voiced serious safety concerns over Staffordshire County Council’s plan to close the gap at a March 13th meeting at Walton Community Centre.

But the Highways Authority considers the gap to be an accident blackspot, with ten accidents, eight slight and two serious, having occurred there between 2009 and 2013.

As a result of the meeting, Walton County Councillor Ian Parry agreed with highway officers to postpone the closure until residents’ views and objections had been assembled, understood and analysed. He asked for Town Councillor Jill Hood’s assistance in assembling and submitting residents’ views by April 5th.

Walton residents are concerned about the increased traffic flows past schools and a playpark on the Walton estate and worse congestion along Manor Rise, a narrow road with one-side parking.

“Disruption to the traffic flow was bad enough when the county council recently put in flashing amber lights to alert fire appliances from the new fire station coming out onto the A34,”

said Jill Hood, who opposes the closure.

“I cannot see them deciding to dig up the road again to close the gap.”

“The most popular suggestion was no right turn from the north but that traffic should still able to go across from Whitemill Lane to travel in the Stafford direction , and to introduce a 30 mph speed restriction on the A34 from the BP garage to the Shell garage at Walton. “
“We are now playing a waiting game to see how many residents have written to Councillor Parry about keeping the gap open.”