Ruth Edwards MP recently met residents Sue Jones and Steve Parkhouse of Nottinghamshire Area Ramblers, and Hugh McClintock of Pedals, who are campaigning for improvements to the dual carriageway south of West Bridgford between the Nottingham Knight and Gamston roundabouts.
This is with a view of making this stretch of road as safe as possible for people to cross.
Ruth was joined by Cllr Neil Clarke MBE, who holds the Transport and Environment portfolio at Nottinghamshire County Council, so they could listen to residents’ concerns about the dangers travellers face whilst hearing more about the proposal to improve an existing underpass south of Sharp Hill.
As part of the campaign to secure these improvements a petition has been launched for local residents and others to show their support for the proposals. Currently, over 1770 people have signed the petition and it can be found here:
Highways England have responded to the suggested improvements saying that they are “applying to their Designated Funds programme…in 2021-22.” And that they are “…looking at all options for improving walking, cycling and horse-riding accessibility across the A52 between Nottingham Knight and Wheatcroft Roundabouts.” This is all subject to funding being secured.
Ruth Edwards MP said :
“I don’t think any sensible person would want to use the existing crossing points. The speed of the traffic and the huge volume travelling back and forth mean that for walkers, cyclists and particularly for horse riders, the current setup is incredibly dangerous.
“I think the proposals to use the underpass as an alternative seem very sensible and I have raised this directly with Highways England.
“The campaign to improve safety when crossing this road has my full support and I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work.
Cllr. Neil Clarke MBE said “This would be a great project to undertake to ensure that crossing the busy and dangerous A52 becomes much safer by keeping riders and walkers apart from the traffic. They are able to enjoy their journey far more without taking their life in their hands whilst dicing with vehicles on the dual carriageway.”
Sue Jones Nottinghamshire Area Ramblers said “This is more important than ever now people are leaving their cars behind to walk, run, or cycle to work or to reach the countryside from West Bridgford. We have been approached by Rushcliffe School who are concerned that children who want to cycle or walk to school from Ruddington are afraid to cross the road. Horse riders tell us they have no way to take their horses across, and disabled users are very concerned that their needs are also considered. We have had huge support for our petition, and thank everyone who has taken the time to sign it and provide us with comments on how important this is to them.”
Hugh McClintock from Pedals said “For well over 20 years Pedals has been campaigning for the upgrading of the underpass under the very, busy and intimidating A52 south of Sharp Hill and its approaches, both as part of a safe leisure route for all vulnerable road users and as part of a safe cycle route for commuting and other utility cycling, including trips to school, between Ruddington and the Edwalton side of West Bridgford, connecting to a series of improved routes on both sides of the very busy and dangerous A52, and the many new housing developments in the area.
We therefore have warmly welcomed the recent greatly increased interest in this campaign from the Ramblers and several other groups with a strong interest in promoting active travel in the area and, in particular, safer crossings of the A52. We have also now been very encouraged by the strong interest of Ruth Edwards MP in our campaign and the very useful site visit we had with her and County Councillor Neil Clarke, and her willingness to discuss the importance of our very, well-supported campaign before she pursues it further with Highways England.”
Steve Parkhouse from Nottinghamshire Area Ramblers said “These are dreadfully dangerous crossings. Active Travel users have to move along the very edge of the road and lean out to see approaching traffic whilst large numbers of vehicles speed past. If Highways England doesn’t do something soon to provide a safe way to the other side, then someone is going to be killed. The underpass already exists, it just needs connecting to the two bridleways.”