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A46 Newark Bypass welcomed but businesses concerned about ‘construction chaos’

Traders and shoppers in Newark say plans to widen the A46 near the town are welcome but some fear the work will “cause chaos” when construction starts.

National Highways has announced it will go ahead with in £500m improvements to the A46 between Farndon and Winthorpe, and ran a public survey in October.

The road will be widened into a dual-carriageway on a 6.5km stretch between the two villages.

This section carries about 17,000 motorists daily, and the works will begin in 2025 with an expected completion in 2030.

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Nottinghamshire County Council previously said this stretch of the major bypass has been “plagued by delays and periodic gridlock” at peak times.

The A46 is primarily a dual-carriageway on approach to Newark but merges into a single lane in both directions between Farndon and Winthorpe.

•  A46 Newark Bypass: Preferred route for new £500m bypass unveiled

At busy times this causes congestion between roundabouts and limits the number of cars able to exit at junctions.

Other improvements include a flyover junction at the Cattle Market junction with the A46, which would be elevated to pass over the roundabout.

The result of a consultation published by National Highways last month found 54 per cent of the 539 respondents were happy with the improvements.

Slightly above 70 per cent also said they were unhappy with current levels of congestion, while 51 per cent did not like the route’s current layout.

Traders and shoppers in the town centre have since echoed these responses and welcomed the improvements – but others have concerns about the impact of the work.

Tony Robinson, 73, runs a market stall in the town and is also a minibus driver.

He previously drove HGVs for almost five decades and says he has never understood why the entire stretch isn’t already two lanes.

Tony Robinson 73 a market trader in Newark and former HGV driver
Tony Robinson

“I was a lorry driver for 48 years and I used to go up and down there all the time,” he said.

“I could never understand why it was never a dual-carriageway to begin with.

“The majority of lorry drivers think this and if we’d have been consulted when the current layout was designed, they would have been told that it should be two lanes.

“So it will improve traffic massively but once they start work it will cause chaos.”

Steven Hayland, 70, lives in Mapperley but regularly visits the town.

He said: “The town is slowly dying so I think this would be better for encouraging more people into town.

“Newark also needs more car parking because having more places for people to park means more people can come and walk around.

“But the potholes also need to be filled and the roads need to be better in general.”

And Mick Aylott, 68, who is also a trader in the town’s market, agrees the new plans will improve traffic flow.

He said: “It’ll probably make an improvement, particularly at certain times of the day.

“Given how much money is being spent on other things [by the Government], this isn’t a bad thing.”

Mick Aylott 68 a market trader in Newark
Mick Aylott

National Highways says the idea of much of the work is to “separate through traffic with local traffic”.

The Winthorpe junction will also be enlarged to a five-arm roundabout with traffic to connect to the new A46 link.

A short section of new dual-carriageway will be created over the A1, including slip roads to Brownhills roundabout and a new bridge.

A single-lane carriageway will also be created between Friendly Farmer and Winthorpe roundabouts linking to the A17, A1 and Newark.

Newarks Market Place

National Highways says traffic lights will also be added to the Farndon junction to “improve flows during peak hours”.

 

The organisation added: “Our improvements … will help reduce congestion in the area and improve journey time and reliability along the A46 and its junctions between Farndon and Winthorpe.

“[It will also] accommodate economic growth in Newark and the wider area.”

Traffic bottlenecking on the A46 between Farndon and the Cattle Market roundabout

When the improvements were first confirmed, Nottinghamshire County Council added: “This is a key route which has been plagued by delays and periodic gridlock.

“The dual carriageway will mean companies can keep their goods moving and will mean that the area will no longer be hampered by these kinds of serious traffic problems.”

The A46 at Cattle Market Roundabout in Newark. Credit National Highways

•  Nottingham City Council to spend £200,000 on consultants for six months

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