WORK is almost complete on the first two phases of a multi-million project to reduce congestion and improve access links in Bromsgrove.

The first two phases of the A38 Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme are nearly complete, despite the hurdles of supply shortages and the pandemic.

The work began with improvements to the M5 junction 4, M42 junction 1 and Barley Mow Lane, which have been in operation since Spring 2021.

Phase 2 works included a new Toucan crossing on A448 Stratford Road and an upgraded footway to create a new footway/cycle way link from A38 / Charford Road Junction to South Bromsgrove High School, as well as a new Toucan over Charford Road, which are both now fully open for use.

The final element of Phase 2 works was the opening of an upgraded pedestrian/cycle link between Harvington Road and Charford Road.

Delays to the opening footpath before earlier this month had caused concern among local councillors but the path was finally opened to the public last weekend.

Worcestershire County Council is planning further landscaping over the next few months to include the planting of around 90 new trees, 3,000 bulbs, 1,000 marginal aquatic plants and 5,000 woodland wild flowers.

Councillor Alan Amos, cabinet member with responsibility for highways and transport at Worcestershire County Council said: "The A38 is a major artery through Bromsgrove, used by thousands of commuters and logistics operators every day. These improvements will help make those journeys smoother and make Bromsgrove a more accessible place to do business.

"I am delighted that we have been able to deliver the Phase 1 and 2 schemes ahead of the wider A38 Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme, to ensure that we continue the momentum in reducing congestion and providing high quality walking and cycling routes.

"It is inspiring to see the work progressing well despite the enormous challenges facing the construction industry at the present time and our people have worked tirelessly to ensure that work has continued to deliver these vital schemes."

Further bids for funding for the remaining schemes within the Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme will be submitted in Autumn this year and if successful, Phase 3 improvements could start later in 2022.