THERE looks like no let up from traffic jams over Clopton Bridge in Stratford any time soon.
Plans for a much-needed traffic mitigation scheme at the bridge south of the river – which has been plagued by gridlock at peak times for decades – have been paused due to spiralling costs until 2024.
Warwickshire County Council has been working with developers Taylor Wimpey and Spitfire Homes for the last nine months to design and deliver the Clopton Bridge Traffic Mitigation Scheme.
But, in the last month, contractors have revealed the latest cost estimates for delivery of the works and they far exceed the funding available to deliver the scheme.
The scheme, as it is currently designed, is estimated to cost between £3 million and £3.5 million. This is significantly more than the estimated £1.9 million of available funding.
The increase in costs have been driven by over £500,000 of unexpected utility diversions that would be required, as well as current high rates of construction and materials inflation.
It was anticipated the Clopton Bridge Mitigation Scheme would get under way this winter, but, according to council chiefs, this will now not be possible.
They estimate – given the programme of other works and the fact the scheme will have to be redesigned so that it is deliverable within the available funding – the next opportunity to deliver it will be 2024.
WCC said it recognised this would mean tolerating the additional traffic from a fully built out Taylor Wimpey/Spitfire site until such time as a suitable mitigation scheme can be designed and delivered.
But it is hoped that reductions in peak time traffic flows seen since the pandemic will enable the additional traffic from the site to be accommodated in the short term.
WCC transport and highways spokesman Coun Wallace Redford said: “Although the pause on delivery to the Clopton Bridge Traffic Mitigation Scheme is disappointing, this will give officers of the authority the opportunity to take on board local concerns about the proposals and to develop a scheme that is both affordable, delivers sufficient mitigation as required by the planning inspectorate and is more acceptable to local residents.
“This is a pragmatic decision as we continue to ensure that our residents are supported through excellent transport infrastructure.“