Author Archives: NSTV News Team

Update on A53 flyover work

Following on from our story last week regarding the current work on the A53 flyover, Stoke on Trent City Council have issued the following updated statement today :-

As a result of works on site at the end of last week, we have now received detailed information from bridge maintenance specialists with regards to work needed to be completed on the A53 flyover.

Road users may have noticed we weren’t on site during the day on Friday, but much work is progressing and we can now explain what work will take place.

The bridge is supported by two steel expansion joints that sit above the two columns that link the overhead carriageway. On one side of one of the joints, on the northbound lane heading towards Cobridge, a minor fracture has occurred between the resin that holds the joint in place and the Tarmac road surface. The cause of this defect is not confirmed, but it could be related to improvements needed to a waterproofing course.

We are very mindful that this road is on a busy commuter route, and of the need to ensure that traffic flows. This is balanced against our priority to ensure the safety of all road users.

As such, we can confirm a series of interim works will take place that will ensure the road can reopen fully and safely. This will involve resurfacing a large section of the carriageway, replacing a section of the joint with a new steel section which will be supported and filled to ensure the road surface and joint is fully repaired and watertight.

The specialist contractors needed to complete this work are responsible for carrying out bridge maintenance, repairs and emergency works on the M5 and M6. Given this, we have made arrangements so that they can be on site on the A53 as early as possible, from tomorrow. It is anticipated this work could take at least two days to complete, and we hope that the road will be fully open as soon as possible before the end of next week.

We will return to the flyover later in the summer to carry out a full programme of works. This will be during the school holidays, when there is less demand on the road, and will be planned to give motorists as much notice as possible, with the potential to do the work in the evening and overnight to keep any disruption to a minimum.

Apprentices to be recognised at graduation

Apprentices from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are invited to attend a special graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.

Apprentices from over 15 sectors, from Accounting to Mechanical Engineering will come together with their family and friends for the celebration at the County Showground in Stafford on Wednesday 17 July.

Now in their fifth year, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Apprenticeship Graduation Awards help highlight the quality and range of Advanced and Higher apprentices and their contribution to the local economy.

Grace Holford is one apprentice looking forward to the graduation ceremony. The 26-year-old is a Level 3 accountancy apprentice with Staffordshire County Council. Grace said:

“Apprenticeships are really brilliant and offer an alternative route to studying.

“Achieving a high standard qualification takes a lot of hard work and dedication so having a graduation ceremony is a fantastic way to celebrate people’s efforts and achievements. Gaining a qualification through an apprenticeship should be celebrated the same as if you went to university to study. I’m really looking forward to the graduation.”

Philip White, Cabinet Member for Learning and Employability at Staffordshire County Council said,

“Once again we’re delighted to be hosting our apprenticeship graduation ceremony, which will celebrate the enormous success and achievement of all our Higher and Advanced apprentices.

“Apprentices remain key to growing our economy and it’s vital we have a good supply of talented workers with the skills that our employers need. It’s also important that we promote the benefits of apprenticeships to encourage others to aspire and over the years our ceremonies have done just that.”

Alun Rogers, deputy chairman of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Local Enterprise Partnership added:

“Apprenticeships give people the opportunity to start their chosen career and to get on the ladder in industry with established businesses.

“They are also important for businesses as they help to build a skilled and talented workforce.

“In Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire we have made great progress in recent years by increasing the number of apprentices but we want to see further growth and ensure businesses are aware of the value of apprenticeship programmes.

“Developing a skilled workforce will be an integral part of our Local Industrial Strategy and will include apprenticeship support.

“Our business support apprenticeship helpline also continues to provide employers across the county with the advice they need to realise the benefits of taking on an apprentice.”

Apprentices continue to play a key role in strengthening the Staffordshire economy with around 7,000 completing an apprenticeship over the past 18 months.

Higher Apprenticeships are available at a range of levels, from the equivalent of a foundation degree to a bachelor’s degree and even master’s degree level in some sectors. More of these specialised and highly-skilled Apprenticeships are being offered each year, giving individuals the chance to continue their professional development and fully realise their potential.

Apprentices that have completed their Apprenticeship can book a place at the event at www.GraduationCeremony.co.uk 

Latest update on A53 Etruria flyover closure

Following our report yesterday regarding the A53 Etruria flyover closure, Stoke on Trent City Council have now issued the following update :-

We thank motorists for their patience and understanding while the flyover is closed.

We took the decision to shut it yesterday due to a problem with one of the expansion joints which run across both lanes of the flyover.

It’s been necessary for us to bring in specialists who are carrying out detailed investigations on site with us now.

Once these have finished, we will have a clearer idea on potential repairs and timescales for reopening the flyover.

In the meantime, we have taken this opportunity to repair manholes, fill potholes and clear gullies on the flyover, something which we normally have to close it for a few hours to carry out.

We appreciate this is a busy route and its closure will cause congestion for motorists, particularly in rush hour, but the safety of the public has to be our number one priority.

Traffic is being diverted through the roundabout underneath the bridge and we are looking at the timing of traffic lights.

The closure has also been added to the roadworks.org website and should now show on people’s satellite navigation systems.

We would encourage motorists to allow more time for their journeys or find an alternative route.