Ten weeks of diversions driving thousands of cars to an already-congested A50 roundabout in Uttoxeter are set to start on Monday, July 16.

A522 traffic will be diverted to the Little Chef roundabout 24 hours a day until Friday, September 28 when the A522 is closed just west of Tunnicliffe Way, Uttoxeter.

During the closure, a huge mass of earth weighing 20,000 tonnes will be shifted by engineers lowering the embankment leading to the A522 bridge spanning the dual carriageway.

That will allow drainage, utilities, street lights and footpaths to be installed as engineers complete the final stages of a new, re-aligned stretch of the A522.

And while the move may exacerbate rush-hour gridlock at the Little Chef island, highways chief have described it as "one of the final, big steps" of a major revamp designed to ease congestion in the long run.

The A50 Little Chef roundabout in Uttoxeter.

Project A of the A50 Growth Corridor Scheme has already seen a new bridge across the carriageway put in place.

It will replace the existing A522 bridge, which will be demolished, and three new roundabouts, slip roads and link roads will be installed.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for jobs and growth, said: "Despite planning to carry out this essential work at a quieter time of the year, there’s no doubt this will cause some inconvenience and I’d like to thank people for their understanding - and ask they allow a little more time for journeys.

Uttoxeter A50 lane closures planned as new slip roads are merged onto carriageway

"We have deliberately scheduled this essential phase of the project to coincide with both the summer holiday closure of the JCB Heavy Products factory and the school summer holidays when traffic levels will be lower than usual."

Diversions for Tean and Uttoxeter-bound traffic will be signposted and maps showing alternative routes are available by going to www.staffordshire.gov.uk and searching for "A50."

How traffic will be diverted

The project is hoping to improve the A50

Traffic travelling west on the A522 towards Tean will be diverted onto the A50 at the Little Chef roundabout, then leave the A50 at the new junction, use the new bridge and re-join the A522.

Traffic travelling east on the A522 towards Uttoxeter will be diverted onto the eastbound A50 and at the Little Chef roundabout, those heading to Uttoxeter town centre will turn left towards the A518 Dove Way.

Pedestrians will still be able to travel in both directions by following a short, signposted diversion between Tunnicliffe Way and the former Parks restaurant.

It passes through Torrance Grove and along a public footpath. Cyclists can also use the route, but are asked to dismount on the footpath.

Access to the Shell petrol station near the Little Chef roundabout will be maintained at all times.

Other planned carriageway closures near the Little Chef roundabout

On Friday, July 6, from 8pm to 5.30am, the westbound carriageway will be closed. The eastbound route will be open as usual.

On Saturday, July 7, from 8pm to 5.30am, the eastbound carriageway will be closed and the westbound open.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15, from 8pm to 5.30am, both carriageways will be closed.

Diversions will see traffic heading west sent north from the A50 to the B5030, then across Dove Way.

It will continue on the A518 towards Stafford, before following the A51 and A43 towards Stoke, then rejoining the A50 via the A500.

The route is reversed from the west.

What is the A50 Growth Corridor Project?

JCBs created in East Staffordshire are being used on the A50 project

The £40 million project is being delivered by Staffordshire County Council on behalf of Highways England - the Government's major road-building department.

Project A is designed to ease congestion and offer easy access to the the now-under-construction 700-home Bramshall Meadows housing development without traffic being driven through town.

When finished, it will include a new bridge, three roundabouts, new slip roads and link roads between the Little Chef and Blythe Bridge roundabouts. The existing A50 bridge will be removed.

A third lane was originally part of the plan for Project A, but that idea was shelved in March amid safety concerns.

Project B initially involved bulldozing the Little Chef and Derby Road roundabouts and replacing them with a flyover.

Under the original plans, three families were set to lose their homes and 37 businesses would be forced to give up land or their entire premises.

Access to the McDonald's and Derby Road service stations from the A50 would also have been crippled.

But Project B is now being re-thought by Highways England, the Government's major road development department.