Funding boost for Springfield Campus city centre connectivity

City of Wolverhampton Council has successfully secured £550,000 to further develop the safer walking and cycling route for students between the city’s transport Interchange and the University of Wolverhampton’s new Springfield Campus.

The funding has come from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and will also enable improvements to the north of the campus towards Cannock Road.

Springfield Campus is home to the new West Midlands University Technical College (UTC), which will be joined by an Elite Centre for Manufacturing (ECMS) and the university’s School of Architecture and Built Environment.

The £100 million redevelopment of the old Springfield Brewery will create Europe’s largest specialist construction and built environment campus, bringing together businesses and the education sector to maximise impact on the local economy.

The phase two connectivity works are set to start in the summer, with the aim to complete them by the end of the year, and include:

  • Improvements to the crossing facilities at the junction of Wednesfield Road and Cullwell Street
  • Widening of the footway along Cambridge Street between Cannock Road and Water Street to facilitate shared walking and cycling use
  • Installation of a signalised Toucan crossing on Cannock Road, near its junction with Cambridge Street, to aid access to pedestrian and cycle routes to the north, such as the canal towpath
  • Improvements to lighting under the railway bridge on Wednesfield Road
  • Footway surfacing and lighting improvements at various locations along the route

The scheme is part of a wider set of initiatives that will help improve the quality and connectivity of walking and cycling routes within the city centre as part of the Connected Places strategy.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said:

“Hundreds of students are already making daily trips to and from the campus and it is essential we ensure the routes to and from it are made fit for purpose, attractive and safe.

“Springfield is a great scheme, putting money into the local economy, helping us to regenerate the local economy, and giving local people the skills they need to get jobs.”

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, added:

“These improvement works are extremely welcome and will make a positive difference to students visiting the Springfield Campus from the City Centre, train and bus stations either on foot or on a bike.

“The Springfield Campus is a major part of our growth plan, which will generate £250 million of investment over the next 5 years. It will provide a centre of excellence for architecture and the built environment which will be unrivalled in the UK and Europe and will provide education for school age children right the way through to undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals. We also see it as key in helping bring investment into the City and the wider region, creating employment opportunities, raising skills levels and aspirations, as well as acting as a catalyst for social and economic regeneration across the area.”

Phase one of the connectivity works saw the creation of a dedicated shared use footway/cycleway in Culwell Street, Grimstone Street and Cambridge Street; motor traffic reduced to one-way travel along Grimstone Street; closure to motor traffic off Cambridge Street between Grimstone Street and Water Street, and creation of a public space.

The reduction of the speed limit to 20 mph and installation of speed reduction measures in Grimstone Street, Cambridge Street and Water Street was implemented in keeping with the adjacent existing 20 mph zone.

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