WORK to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide emissions at a busy Wordley junction is due to get underway in the new year.

Dudley Council was awarded more than £1.5m from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for Transport (DfT) to help cut vehicle emissions at two of the busiest locations in the borough - - the A461 Castle Gate Island and A491 High Street, Wordsley.

The money, awarded last April, has been used to provide new traffic signalling technology to determine the best traffic signal sequence, provide upgraded “intelligent” pedestrian crossings and consider other ways to improve traffic flow such as bus stop placement as well as the introduction of more clean energy buses onto busy routes.

The Castle Gate element of the scheme has been completed, with improvements made to pedestrian crossings along Duncan Edwards Way and the traffic signals at Castle Gate Roundabout; and work on the second phase of the project, in Wordsley, is now set to get underway on Monday January 6.

The aim is to tackle congestion and traffic flow on the High Street (A491) and will include work on the junctions of High Street/Lawnswood Road/Blandford Drive - known locally as ‘the Cat’ junction - and High Street/Brierley Hill Road.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley's cabinet member for cabinet member for environment, highways and street services, said: "Improving air quality is a real focus for us and this additional funding has allowed us to look at a range of ways in which we can reduce air pollution around the borough and at these two locations specifically.

"While we’ve paused the project so as not to disrupt the busy Christmas period, we will be re-starting the work in early January in Wordsley. I hope people bear with us while we make these improvements to help improve air quality for everyone."

The works will take place between 9.30am and 3.30pm (weekdays) but some disruption is expected.

The council is also working with the West Midlands Combined Authority to further improve public transport in the borough to reduce reliance on cars.

It has already reduced emissions from the council’s fleet of vehicles and is working with Transport West Midlands on the roll out of hybrid buses across the region which will reduce polluting emissions by 30 per cent in comparison with conventional diesel fuelled vehicles.

Extending the Metro to Brierley Hill also has the potential to reduce car use in the borough even further and council bosses hope a new requirement to install electric car charging points at certain new developments will encourage people to use and charge electric or hybrid vehicles in the borough.