Sunday 19 May 2024
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New bus lanes to improve ‘heavily congested’ A60 between Arnold and Nottingham

Plans to improve the “heavily congested” A60 corridor between Redhill and Nottingham will see new bus lanes created without being “detrimental” to journey times for car drivers, council documents state.

The new bus lanes will be installed at three ‘pinch points’ along the busy road, including close to the roundabout junction with the A614, where large queues form during rush hours.

It comes as part of funding from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, in which Nottingham and Derby have been awarded £161 million to reduce carbon and improve air quality across the region.

Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council have worked together as part of wider plans for the city and county, with improvements planned across several parts of the sub-region.

And now the county council has revealed its multi-million-pound plan to reduce congestion and improve traffic issues on the A60 – one of the county’s busiest roads at peak times.

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The authority says it will improve travel times at the busy section near Arnold and Redhill heading into Nottingham city centre, where journey times for motorists have been on a gradual increase.

Documents state the section of the A60 between the Leapool Island, at the A614, and Woodthorpe Drive, saw average journey times increase by three minutes over nine years.

Figures accurate to 2019, before the pandemic took hold, show the average travel time between the Esso petrol station and the boundary with Sherwood took 13 minutes.

This was up from 10 minutes in 2010/11, with other parts of the area – including the junction with Cross Street and Oxclose Lane, listed as an Air Quality Management Area.

These are areas where there is an “exceedance or likely exceedance” of air quality issues, with this junction of the A60 listed as having “historically exceeded” nitrous oxide levels.

And in a bid to improve on these figures, the city and county council plan to invest some Transforming Cities funding to remove bus ‘pinch points’ at three key sections of the road travelling into Nottingham.

These are between the A60’s Esso petrol station and Arch Hill, from Appledorne Way to Cross Street in Redhill, and on Oxclose Lane at its approach to Edwards Lane.

Council documents state the bus lanes will be operational 24/7, with cameras in operation to “ensure compliance”.

The works, if approved by Nottinghamshire County Council’s transport and environment committee next week, would also see the road and pavement widened at these locations and the removal of some trees.

Discussions are also ongoing with Gedling Borough Council about purchasing two parcels of land totalling 52sqm to help widen the road and pavement.

And Nottinghamshire County Council states there will be “long-term benefits” from the improvements, including drivers opting to use public transport to access the city rather than travelling in cars on the busy road.

But the council says investigations conducted since the initial bid have confirmed the improvements will be “capacity neutral”, believing it will not lead to more cars on the roads or impact travel time for motorists.

Documents published ahead of the meeting on May 4 state: “Design work carried out since the original bid has confirmed that the introduction of the new sections of bus lane will be capacity neutral and will not be detrimental to journey times for car users.

“There are also anticipated to be long-term benefits as a result of
drivers opting to switch to public transport due to the improved bus journey times, which should further help to reduce congestion along this corridor.”

The A60 work is expected to cost £4.842 million and comes as part of a wider £7.91 million programme.

But documents add further sections of inbound bus lanes are being considered, including at the junction of the A60 at Mansfield Road and Thackeray’s Lane, in Arnold.

The council’s economic development and asset management committee has approved further feasibility studies into this proposal, with further investigation works expected to cost £1.085 million.

The transport and environment committee is recommended to approve the projects during the meeting next week.

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