LONG-AWAITED improvements to Stratford’s traffic-choked Birmingham Road will be delayed further say highway chiefs.
Warwickshire County Council (WCC) said cost estimates were higher than expected and it needed to be re-designed to fit the original £3.5million budget.
It is understood the project – which aims to tackle congestion along the main route into town – will be delayed until at least April.
The original plans included a new slip road to the Tesco store, converting the existing two-lane outbound section to inbound from St Peter’s Way to Joseph Way, and widening two lanes between the Regal Road roundabout and Hamlet Way.
There will also be improvements made to cycleways and footpaths towards the town centre, together with signs warning drivers of congestion, delays and advising on alternative routes.
Funding of £2.4million was originally secured from the Department for Transport but it is understood a further funding bid to the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Project was rejected leading to an initial delay.
WCC said it would fund the remainder of the £3.5million in a bid to get the project underway this financial year.
But now it says designs need to be altered to both fit the budget and achieve the same benefits.
A WCC spokesperson said: “We are currently in the design phase at the moment, which has taken longer than expected as the utility cost estimates that have been received are significantly higher than anticipated.
“This means we have to attempt to design out the majority of the utility diversion costs in order to build a scheme that achieves the same benefits that we originally set out to achieve within our budget.
“We are still committed to delivering the scheme and are working hard to complete the design and start construction as soon as we can.”
The scheme is a key element of the Stratford Transport Strategy which sets out Stratford District Council and WCC’s shared future transport framework for the town and surrounding area.