Traffic congestion on the A172 Marton Road Corridor and on the other main north-south routes serving Middlesbrough centre is not a new phenomenon.
Predicted traffic growth, particularly due to the major housing developments planned and already underway in the south of the town, will place additional demands on the existing road network over the coming years.
For this reason, we – along with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Highways England, which is responsible for the A174 Parkway and the A19 – have carried out an extensive evaluation exercise over the last four years to establish where and when the additional vehicle movements associated with the sites allocated for residential development in the Middlesbrough Housing Local Plan will impact on the local and strategic road network. We also looked to identify the highway improvements that will be required in order to address this impact and ensure that traffic keeps moving.
As a result of this exercise, a prioritised package of highway improvements has been developed. The implementation of these improvements will take place between now and 2030 (which is the life of the Housing Local Plan).
- the Stainton Way Western Extension – a new link road that will run between A1130 Mandale Road and B1380 Low Lane, designed to relieve pressure on the A19/A174 Parkway Interchange and facilitate access to the Stainsby housing site to the west of Acklam
- the Longlands to Ladgate Lane Link – a new link road that will run between A1085 Longlands Road and B1380 Ladgate Lane, designed to relieve congestion on A171 Cargo Fleet Lane, A172 Marton Road and Ormesby Road
- a number of junction improvements on Stainton Way and B1365 Hemlington Lane, designed to improve the capacity of both of these routes and relieve congestion on the A172 Marton Road and A1032 Acklam Road Corridors
The Dixons Bank/Stainton Way ('Southern Cross') junction improvement has been identified as the top priority for implementation.
The section of A172 Dixons Bank and Stokesley Road between Stainton Way and the A174 Parkway (i.e. past Marton Shops) currently carries around 25,000 vehicles on an average weekday, and there is little scope to accommodate any future increase in traffic flow without major alterations to the existing highway layout.
For this reason, the underlying principle behind the proposed scheme at the Southern Cross junction is to encourage drivers heading towards Middlesbrough town centre to travel via Stainton Way (which currently carries around 15,000 vehicles on an average weekday), the A174 Parkway, the A19 and the A66, rather than via the A172 Marton Road Corridor.
As highlighted above, improvements are also proposed at key junctions on Stainton Way and B1365 Hemlington Lane in order to accommodate future traffic growth.
The proposed scheme comprises widening of the existing carriageway on Dixons Bank and Stainton Way to create two lanes on the northbound and eastbound approaches to the junction.
This would remove the existing 'pinch points' for traffic travelling in a northbound and eastbound direction during the morning and evening peak periods respectively, and allow drivers to make use of the spare capacity that currently exists on Stainton Way. All of the carriageway widening works would be carried out within the existing highway boundary.
The proposed carriageway widening on Dixons Bank would require the removal of 25 existing trees in the highway verge. Although this is unfortunate, it would not be possible to accommodate the additional northbound lane whilst still retaining the trees.
In addition to widening of the carriageway, the proposed scheme includes an upgrade to the existing traffic signals. This upgrade includes the introduction of specialist software to optimise the operation of the signals and, therefore, the capacity of the junction.
The proposed scheme also includes the resurfacing of both roads and improvements to the existing highway drainage system, together with the introduction of improved street lighting. The existing 'toucan' pedestrian and cycle crossing on Dixons Bank would be retained, as would the existing bus laybys.
Middlesbrough Council's Executive approved the scheme, as detailed above, on 10 July 2018. We'll provide updates below as the project continues.
Update: January 2019
Middlesbrough Council has appointed Cleveland Land Services to undertake the project, with a view to commence in February 2019. A full schedule of works is being formulated, with a view to share as soon as possible.
Update: February 2019
Cleveland Land Services commenced on site on Monday 4 February. The site compound is in place, and excavation of the verge on Stainton Way, and vegetation and tree clearance has commenced. The project timeline can be found below in the 'further information' section.
Update: March 2019
Favourable weather conditions have allowed good progress on the scheme to date. All trees have been removed, and drain installation will be undertaken in March. Saturday working has commenced, and will do so whilst the weather permits to allow the scheme to maintain the momentum and progress. This will help to deliver the scheme in a more timely manner, or assist in reducing the impact of any unforeseen issues.
Northern Power Grid works - Dixons Bank, Nunthorpe
As part of the highway improvement scheme, Northern Power Grid (NPG) has scheduled essential work to divert electric cables across Dixons Bank, at the footpath link to Whernside (80m south of the junction with Stainton Way). The work will be carried out on 9 to 10 March. Properties in the vicinity of the works are being contacted directly by Clancy Docwra, who are undertaking the works on behalf of NPG.
Manually operated temporary traffic signals will be in place over these weekends to facilitate the works, however major disruption can be expected. Motorists are advised to avoid this route, allow additional journey time or if possible, seek alternate modes of travel.
There is no anticipated reduction in utility services to residents as part of the works, however in the case of emergency, please contact Clancy Docwra directly on 0800 6345944.
Update: April 2019
Essential utility diversion works were successfully undertaken on Dixons Bank on 9 and 10 March. Drainage works on Stainton Way are continuing to progress, including the cleansing of the culvert close to The Fairway.
April sees the commencing of excavations on Dixons Bank, which includes a 'cut and fill' exercise. This involves the removal of embankment, and backfilling of low points to allow space to widen the infrastructure into. As part of these works, parts of the foot/cycle way will be closed to the public, however the signalised crossing point to the South of the junction with Stainton Way will remain operational, as will the pedestrian island adjacent to St. Cuthberts Ave.
Temporary traffic lights are scheduled to be operational on Dixons bank from Monday 8 April to Wednesday 10 April.
The arrangements will see temporary two way traffic lights in place between the hours of 9am and 3pm (during reduced flow periods), and will be managed by specialist traffic management contractors, Premier Traffic Management.
The arrangements are required to improve the drainage infrastructure in the area at three locations (one on Stainton Way, and two on Dixons Bank). The existing infrastructure has dilapidated over a number of years, reducing the capability to deal effectively with excessive flows. By undertaking these works, the infrastructure will be better equipped to deal with such events, reducing the risk of flooding.
Throughout the operation, delays are inevitable due to the volume of traffic using this stretch of carriageway. Drivers are therefore being advised to allow additional time for their journey or, if possible, avoid the junction completely for the duration of the works.
Update: May 2019
Cut and fill exercises on Dixons Bank have been undertaken. During excavation, utilities have been uncovered which may require diversion. Consequently, this may impact upon the programme progressing as anticipated. The Council, Cleveland Land Services and Arup are working with providers to establish the best solution to minimise impact. Updates will be provided once a solution is approved.
Kerb works are almost complete on Stainton Way.
Update: June 2019
On-going discussions with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) have resulted in confirmation that the unexpectedly exposed pipeline requires re-locating deeper than it currently is. However these additional works will not impact upon any of the proposed highway works. This was not indicated to the project from utility plans provided by NGN, so was completely unforeseen.
Discussions with Northumbrian Water has indicated that there will be no further works required to alter the location of the pipe work that was exposed upon excavation. However, as part of mitigation measures, there have been some minor amendments to the initial highway design along Dixons Bank to ensure that these utilities are in more accessible locations, should future maintenance works be required. This includes a narrowing of the carriageway and foot/cycleway (combined) widths by a total of 600mm, which ensures that the pipeline remains in the grass verge adjacent to the newly constructed highway.
This will reduce the distance of the edge kerb to the adjacent fence lines of the properties on the affected section in the plans by 600mm.
Due to these timely agreements, it is not envisaged that the programme of work will deviate from that advertised, as other non-abortive works were able to be undertaken.
Stainton Way Carriageway is significantly completed.
Information regarding the package of highway improvements of which the proposed scheme forms a key part, including the methodology used during its development, is available:
- Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council - Strategic housing sites model assessment report (29 October 2013)
- Middlesbrough Council - South West Middlesbrough micro-simulation model forecasting report (9 December 2016)
- Middlesbrough Council - South West-Middlesbrough micro-simulation model forecasting report addendum (9 December 2016)
Environmental Impact Assessment
Studies have been undertaken to assess the environmental impact of the scheme from an air quality, noise and vibration, and tree removal perspective by consultants Arup, and Billinghurst George & Partners. The results can be found within the following reports:
- Air quality assessment
- Noise and vibration assessment
- Noise and vibration assessment - appendix
- Tree removal assessment
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.