Nuneaton’s traffic-clogged ring road will look a lot different in the future after £21.5m plans were given the go-ahead.
The massive changes will include the removal of one-way systems, the ‘Dandelion’ roundabout being coverted into a new junction and more.
Work to formally draw up concept plans will start now.
Warwickshire County Council said they would take into account concerns raised by residents about the loss of some features.
A new home will be found for the iconic Dandelion fountain and new locations will also have to potentially be found for Dunelm and Empire Gym to allow improvements to the Leicester Road gyratory system to go ahead.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council leader, councillor Julie Jackson, said: “Improving access to our town centre, and reducing traffic congestion, are key elements of our Transforming Nuneaton proposals.
“It is good to see this programme of investment coming forward from Warwickshire County Council at this important time for our town and our borough.
“These are changes to our town centre roads system that will have a significant impact on the appearance and experience of the town centre and its ring road.”
What are the plans?
- A444/Corporation Street / Powell Way – The existing ‘Dandelion’ roundabout will be removed and replaced with a four arm signalised crossroads. Planners say this will cause a significant reduction in queues on Corporation Street and reduces queues in the Midland Road/Corporation Street Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. Also included within this scheme is a new four arm signalised junction at the A444 / Abbey St junction, to provide improved bus access into the town centre.
- A444/Queens Road – The road will be widened to allow a bus lane to go in. It is hoped the wider road will benefit drivers and cyclists and that public transport accessibility at the junction at the junction by the bus lane.
- A444/Wheat Street – Provision of a fourth arm to an existing three arm signalised junction to unlock development along Wheat Street west (Vicarage Street Development Site). This will also provide improvements to cyclist/pedestrian facilities.
- A444/Leicester Road/Back Street/Bond Street/Regent Street – This scheme will remove the existing one-way gyratory system and replace it with a four-arm roundabout. Approximately 420 metres of one way system will be removed. Proposed toucan crossings on Leicester Road arm, Vicarage Street and A444 west approach, along with the existing alignment of Regent St will provide vastly improved cyclist and pedestrian facilities. Various land titles would need to be purchased and various buildings demolished to allow the new roundabout.
The cash from the Capital Investment Fund (CIF) was rubber-stamped at a full Warwickshire County Council meeting, but there was some opposition to the plans.
Nuneaton-based Green Party county councillor Keith Kondakor tabled an amendment to the plan, which included removing the Leicester Road gyratory proposals as they are currently.
He had previously claimed that the overall plans were out-dated, would make traffic worse and needed to be looked at again but his amendment was not supported.
Cllr Jeff Clarke, the Nuneaton-based cabinet member for transport, welcomed the huge investment into the road network which will also form a key part of the Transforming Nuneaton project, which aims to boost the local economy by encouraging investment into the town centre.
“Transforming Nuneaton is about creating a vibrant town centre for residents and visitors. But it’s also about creating a town that is an attractive investment opportunity for prospective businesses which will greatly stimulate the local economy and create employment,” Cllr Clarke said.
“The transport infrastructure is absolutely critical to that. This is a real statement of intent that we are committed to improving the town centre and sends that message out to any potential investors.
“But while we are boosting the economy, the schemes also demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change, reducing congestion and improving air quality as active and sustainable travel are at the heart of all of these schemes. Residents will see real benefits from the planned works to their journeys to, and around, the town.”
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