The A46 Link Road is a very exciting scheme both for Warwickshire and the wider sub-region.
Coventry and Warwickshire has the fastest growing economy within the West Midlands. Infrastructure investment is needed in key corridors such as the A45 and A46 to provide the conditions for businesses to continue to invest in the area. An efficient transport network with sufficient capacity and resilience is key to maintaining and supporting future growth, and this is exactly what the A46 Link Road scheme aims to deliver.
This website will provide all the most up to date information on the A46 Link Road Scheme as it progresses from planning to implementation.
Warwickshire County Council’s Regulatory Committee has granted planning permission for much needed improvements to the A46 Stoneleigh junction. The full press release is available on our news website.
In preparation for the main A46 Stoneleigh junction improvement work we are carrying out advanced tree felling in November before the bird nesting season in Spring 2019. New planting will be put in place to mitigate for the areas of trees that have been removed when the main junction improvement works are completed. A plan of the works can be found here – Planned tree felling (PDF, 1.3 MB).
The strategic case for the A46 Link Road project aims to address seven key areas:
1 Improved access to the University of Warwick and Stoneleigh Park
There is a need to improve local and strategic connectivity to the University of Warwick and adjacent employment sites, in order to support the substantial committed and planned growth of this area over the next 10-15 years.
Current access is constrained by the need to travel through already congested networks and residential areas.
A number of important research facilities such as the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) are located at the University which have strong links to the priority sectors identified within the Coventry and Warwickshire Strategic Economic Plan. Improvements to the A46 Stoneleigh junction will also support the ongoing delivery of the Stoneleigh Park masterplan through a substantial improvement in access to/from the strategic road network.
2. Delivering wider A46 Corridor Growth
Major employment growth is either committed or planned more widely along the A46 corridor, including Fen End, Whitley South, Coventry Airport, Ryton and Ansty. There are also a number of significant housing developments proposed within the Warwick District Local Plan around Kenilworth and parts of south west Coventry which, based on the evidence provided within the County Council’s Strategic Transport Assessment, will require the A46 Stoneleigh Junction to be delivered within the Plan period.
The A46 provides the glue which links these various areas together both locally and more widely across the sub-region, providing key business to business connectivity for companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and its supply chain. Within this context, it is vital that key junctions such as Stoneleigh are fit for purpose.
3. A45 Corridor Congestion Reduction and Growth
Coventry City Council has recently delivered a comprehensive package of Local Pinch Point capacity improvements at key junctions along and in the vicinity of the A45 corridor. In the case of the A45/A429 Kenilworth Road junction, the Pinch Point improvements were originally only envisaged to provide short term relief, with grade separation of the junction expected to be necessary in the future in order to provide continuing long term congestion and growth benefits to this area of the city and wider sub-region.
The proposed A46 Link Road will reduce the need for any further major improvements to A45/A429 Kenilworth Road for the foreseeable future, as Phases 1 and 2 of the A46 Link Road are expected to deliver similar or greater benefits in terms of congestion reduction and growth to the A45 corridor. This will allow sustainable growth to come forward in future Local Plans in both the city and adjoining area of Warwick District.
4. Improved access to High Speed 2 Station and UK Central
Delivery of the A46 Link Road will provide an opportunity to significantly improve east-west connectivity to/from the Coventry and Warwickshire area, by enabling growth sites improved access to the A46 and the wider strategic road network. Good links with the substantial economic opportunities which will arise from the opening of the High Speed 2 interchange in 2026 and the wider UK Central proposals are vital if the sub-regional economy is to maximise the benefits from these developments.
Good connections to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre along with other key existing employment sites such as Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull are also important given the interactions these have with similar business activities which take place within Coventry and Warwickshire at Whitley, Gaydon and Fen End.
5. Delivering the A46 ‘Expressway’
The Expressway concept promoted through the Government’s ‘Road Investment Strategy 2015/16 – 2019/20’ (RIS1) for certain sections of the trunk road network envisages a motorway standard experience for users, with dual carriageway provision and grade-separated junctions.
Major capital investment in the A46 has taken place over the last 10 years, including improvements at M40 Junction 15 (Longbridge) and A45/A46 Tollbar End/Stivichall. Further works are committed in RIS1 at A46/A428 Binley and A46/B4082 Walsgrave, and at A46/A425/A4177 Stanks as a result of Growth Deal monies and other local funding. These improvements will all contribute towards the delivery of the A46 as an Expressway between the M6/M69 and M40. The proposed improvements to the A46 Stoneleigh Junction are consistent with the Expressway concept. As such, Highways England is supportive and engaged in this element of the A46 Stoneleigh Junction scheme.
6. Maintaining Network Performance during HS2 Construction
Improvements to A46 Stoneleigh Junction will provide resilience and flexibility to this part of the network during the construction of High Speed 2, thereby helping to maintain the performance of the local and sub-regional economy. Assurances with HS2 Ltd have been secured by the County Council through the Hybrid Bill process to ensure that Phase 1 of the project can progress in parallel with HS2 construction activity in this area.
7. Delivering Strategic Resilience to the Midlands Motorway Hub
There is an emerging recognition of the need to look at the medium/long term interventions which will be required to support the strategic resilience of the Midlands Motorway Hub (M5/M6/M42). The recent Midlands Connect ‘Picking up the Pace’ report and emerging Midlands Connect Strategy refers to the role which a substantially improved A5 and A46 could play in achieving this. Delivery of the A46 Link Road will provide a significant new east-west route which could potentially help complement and provide resilience to the M40, M42 and M6 within the Coventry/Warwickshire/Solihull area.
At a local level, the A46 Link Road will:
- Address an existing congestion and safety issue at the A46/C32 Stoneleigh Road interchange.
Mitigate HS2 construction traffic impacts on certain communities within the Kenilworth and Stoneleigh area.
- Significantly reduce the amount of traffic on Stoneleigh Road and Gibbet Hill Road which is trying to access the University of Warwick and surrounding employment areas.
- Reduce the current trend for local rat running of traffic on routes such as Crackley Lane, Bockendon Road and Hollis Lane.
- Provide an opportunity for the A452 to be downgraded through Kenilworth and Balsall Common town and village centres respectively, allowing a series of public realm/environmental enhancements to be implemented.
Status: At Design Stage, funding allocated in principle subject to approval of Full Business Case.
Work Commences: to be confirmed, subject to completion of statutory processes
Authorities Involved: Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, Warwick District Council, Highways England, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Department for Transport (DfT)
The proposals are for a major improvement implemented at the Stoneleigh junction on the A46 between Coventry and Kenilworth. The existing priority junctions at the top of each slip road will be replaced by a two-bridge gyratory roundabout. This will involve installing a new bridge to the east of the existing junction and realigning Stoneleigh Road and Dalehouse Lane. The Dalehouse Lane roundabout will be increased in size in order to improve traffic capacity.
The new gyratory will include a shared-use pedestrian and cycle facility on both sides of the junction, with Toucan crossings, for crossing the slip roads.
Toucan crossings reduce the impact of traffic control on cyclists by allowing them to cycle, rather than dismount, at crossing points.
This scheme will help address existing congestion and safety issues at the junction whilst also improving access to the University of Warwick and Stoneleigh Park.
Phase 1 of the scheme will also bring benefits to local areas during the construction of HS2, which would be positive for the communities who have expressed concerns about the extra congestion and safety issues the construction of the rail line may cause.
Below you can find traffic models for the A46 Stoneleigh Junction as it currently is during morning and afternoon rush hour periods and how it will be during morning and afternoon rush hour periods with the new, proposed, layout.
Current Layout – Morning rush hour period
Current Layout – Afternoon rush hour period
Proposed Layout – Morning rush hour period
Proposed Layout – Afternoon rush hour period
Legal Orders – Currently being advertised
Status: £1.25m funding in place for business case development.
Work Commences: to be confirmed, subject to completion of statutory processes
Authorities Involved: Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, Warwick District Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Department for Transport
Phase 2 of the A46 Link Road aims to improve accessibility to the University of Warwick and the surrounding Business Parks and other employment areas through the provision of a new road linking the A46 at Stoneleigh Junction with Westwood Heath. It will also help reduce the inappropriate use of minor roads such as Crackley Lane for traffic wishing to access the University and surrounding area.
Next steps and public engagement
The next steps for Phase 2 of the A46 Link Road Scheme have been identified:
Issues and Options consultation – Warwickshire County Council and key strategic partners are currently assessing all the evidence as to the current and future transport challenges on the highway network between the A46 and A45 Stonebridge Island. It will be undertaking a consultation exercise on the transport issues, and potential options for addressing them.
Issues and Options consultation – The project board will be in a position to set out a short list of scheme options that it believes will address the transport challenges in the area. At this stage it will be possible for local people to provide their views, based on an understanding of how they may be affected by any particular scheme option.
Issues and Options consultation – The project board will submit a business case for its preferred option to the Department for Transport (DfT). This business case will include both an economic and environmental assessment, along with identification of the funding required. Depending on the conclusions of the business case, and the availability of funding, the DfT may decide to provide further financial support.
Status: Early development stage
Phase 3 would see a further link from Phase 2 of the scheme towards either the A45 or A452. The aim of Phase 3 would be to enhance connectivity between the Coventry and Warwickshire sub-region and the economic opportunities afforded by UK Central and High Speed 2. There is also the potential to provide traffic relief to Balsall Common and Kenilworth.
Q1: What is the A46 Link Road?
A1: The A46 Link Road is a proposal to construct a new road from the A46 Stoneleigh Junction around the south of Coventry, and connecting either to the A45 or A452.
Q2: Who is promoting the road?
A2: The road is being promoted by Coventry City Council (CCC) and Warwickshire County Council (WCC).
Q3: Why is the road needed?
A3: The road is needed in order to deliver the high levels of economic growth that are forecast for the Coventry and Warwickshire area. The current highway infrastructure is inadequate for the purpose of providing access to new houses and employment sites, including the University of Warwick.
Q4: What would be the benefits for existing roads?
A4: The existing road network to the south of Coventry would benefit from lower levels of traffic. People who currently use the local roads to avoid traffic congestion on the A45, A46, A429 and A452 would be encouraged to use the new road.
Q5: Is the road needed for High Speed 2 (HS2)?
A5: No, the road is required to enable further economic growth – specifically delivery of new jobs and houses.
Q6: How will the road be built?
A6: The plan is to build the road in three phases:
- The A46 Stoneleigh Junction scheme proposes improvements to the A46 Stoneleigh Junction and Dalehouse Lane roundabout.
- Phase 2 proposes a new road from Stoneleigh Junction to Cromwell Lane.
- Phase 3 proposes a new road from Cromwell Lane to either the A45 or A452.
Q7: Are all three phases dependent on one another?
A7: No. The A46 Stoneleigh Junction Scheme is a stand-alone scheme which addresses an existing congestion and safety issue on the A46 at Stoneleigh Junction. Phase 2 could also be built as a stand-alone scheme as it will provide access to various employment and housing development sites from the A46. Phase 3 would represent an extension of Phase 2.
Q8: How big will the new road be?
A8: The forecast level of travel demand suggests that the new road will need to be constructed as a two-lane dual carriageway.
Q9: What would be the route of the new road?
A9: There are still a number of route options being considered, for both Phases 2 and 3. The aim is to choose a route that is as direct as possible, whilst also ensuring that impacts on people’s properties and the local environment is minimised.
Q10: When could the road open to traffic?
A10: The A46 Stoneleigh Junction Scheme is the most advanced, and the planned opening date is 2019. The opening dates for Phases 2 and 3 are less certain at this stage. Phase 2 could open in 2022; and Phase 3 in around 2026. Please note that these dates are aspirations and are subject to change as the schemes progress through project development.
Q11: What legal powers will be needed?
A11: Planning permission will be required where the new road uses land that is not currently public highway. If private land cannot be acquired by negotiation, a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) will be required. Alterations to the highway network may also require Side Road Orders (SROs).
Q12: Who will fund the scheme?
A12: The funding, which is dependent on submission of a sound business case, is likely to come from a number of sources including the Department for Transport (DfT), Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and contributions from developers.
Q13: How will the public be consulted on the proposals?
A13: A number of public events are planned and details will be made available on the scheme web site. As the scheme progresses, further details will be made available on the web site. The public will also be able to provide their views as part of the planning process.
Q14: What happens next?
A14: For the A46 Stoneleigh Junction scheme, the design is currently being progressed. A Full Business Case (FBC) will be submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) later in the year. For Phases 2 and 3, the immediate priority will be to short list the most viable route options. After that we will be undertaking further design and business case work. It is planned to submit an Outline Business Case (OBC) to the DfT later in the year.
Q15: What facilities will be provided for pedestrians and cyclists?
A15: As part of the A46 Stoneleigh Junction Improvement Scheme, shared use pedestrian and cycling facilities will be provided. It is intended to provide shared use pedestrian and cycling facilities as part of the Phase 2 project and this will also be renewed in conjunction with the other facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in the area.
WCC Cabinet Reports
Planning Permission Granted
Warwickshire County Council’s Regulatory Committee has granted planning permission for much needed improvements to the A46 Stoneleigh junction.
Councillor Jeff Clarke, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning, welcomed the planning approval for the A46 Stoneleigh junction improvements, adding: “These works illustrate Warwickshire County Council’s commitment that our businesses and communities are supported by excellent transport infrastructure.
“The existing Stoneleigh junction was constructed in the 1970’s as part of the A46 Kenilworth bypass and no longer meets the needs of modern traffic management. Traffic levels have changed considerably since its construction and this is all too evident in the amount of congestion that regularly builds around the Stoneleigh Road and Dalehouse Lane during rush hour. These improvements will significantly improve traffic flow and ease the current levels of congestion and will see the junction fit for the challenges of the future.”
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Development, Councillor Alan Rhead added; “We wholeheartedly welcome the planned improvements to this vital link to the district’s transport network and look forward to reduced journey times for commuters and students and benefits to local businesses. We also hope that the enhancements to pedestrian and cycle routes will encourage more people to look at these options for their journeys.”
The full press release is available on our news website.
Public Consultation (now closed)
A6 Stoneleigh Junction leaflet and presentation added to the Stoneleigh Junction area of this site.
Traffic models have been added to the A46 Stoneleigh Junction area of the website and can be found below:
The survey on the A46 Stoneleigh Junction is now closed many thanks to everyone who took part in this.
For more information about the A46 Link Road Scheme, please email A46LinkRoad@warwickshire.gov.uk