At last! Stoke-on-Trent road back open next week - 78 days after fire

A busy road is set to be reopened to traffic - for the first time in 78 days. Stoke-on-Trent City Council is this weekend erecting scaffolding and securing a number of fire-hit buildings, on Newcastle Street, in Middleport.

But only one side of Newcastle Street is expected to be reopened to traffic next week - with long-suffering motorists enduring two-way traffic lights instead. It follows a number of Burslem and Middleport streets being turned into rat-runs during the road closure.

Now the council has ordered a review into this incident to try to avoid a repeat. The building fire happened on April 7 - and the council almost immediately gave the building owners a two-week ultimatum to secure the properties and get the road back open.

But the council says the building owners has failed to carry out any of the repairs to the building which would have allowed the road to reopen. The building owners will be billed for this weekend's works.

A council spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the owners of the building on Newcastle Street did not take responsibility for the building, delaying the re-opening of the road. With thanks to specialist engineers, we now have works planned in throughout the weekend which will allow the road to be opened from next week. Once the work is completed, we will be seeking recompense from the owners.

“We understand residents and businesses have been frustrated with the delay. There have been a number of challenges which we have had to take into account and which we are working towards resolving. We will also use this as a learning experience. We obviously hope nothing like this happens again but, if it does, we’ll be in a better position to reduce congestion in the city as much as we possibly can. The review being carried out will mean we can ensure we don’t see a repeat of this. We remain committed to preserving and protecting historic buildings in the city and will take action against owners who neglect their responsibilities.”

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