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New River Trent road bridge could be planned says East Midlands Combined County Authority

A new road bridge over the River Trent will “no doubt feature in a long list of possible schemes”, the newly-created East Midlands Combined County Authority says.

Nottingham is currently served by Lady Bay Bridge, Clifton Bridge and Trent Bridge, but politicians have argued a fourth road bridge would help further relieve traffic jams across the city and beyond.

A crossing at Trent Basin was recently given planning approval by Nottingham City Council, but it will only cater for cyclists and pedestrians.

A debate over a new road crossing was held in 2022 in parliament, with the issue becoming particularly prominent following the closure of Clifton Bridge in 2020 during structural problems.

Some lanes on the bridge were closed for more than 20 months while repair work took place, and initial closures made Nottingham one of the world’s most congested cities at the time.

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Preliminary studies have already been conducted. Engineering firm AECOM prepared a desktop study to consider how feasible a crossing at Colwick would be back in 2016.

Now Gedling’s MP, Tom Randall (Con), has written to East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward (Lab) to ask that new transport funding is used to forward the concept.

“The next phase of this project involves commissioning a strategic outline business case, which will cost a low six-figure sum, to look deeper into the matter,” Mr Randall says in his letter sent on May 21.

“You will know there are three bridges across the River Trent in Nottingham. The last new bridge opened over 40 years ago, with no crossings in the eastern side of the city or its suburbs.

“Many have written to me about the prospect of a fourth Trent crossing to the east of the city. I believe the case for a new crossing was strengthened after the partial closure of Clifton Bridge in 2020 that brought gridlock to the city and beyond.

“My own view is that a new crossing at Colwick would be a good place to help fill the current gap between Lady Bay Bridge and Gunthorpe Bridge.”

The letter goes on to say it would relieve traffic pressure, particularly in Netherfield, Colwick and Burton Joyce, while also stimulating growth and better access to jobs in Gedling.

Ms Ward was elected to the position of Mayor at the start of May, and she will now oversee the new East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA).

The role means the region, which includes Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, will be given £1.14bn in funding over the next 30 years – on top of more powers devolved from Whitehall.

Additionally, Ms Ward and EMCCA will be given a transport investment fund of £1.5bn to open up opportunities for improvements following years of “underinvestment”.

Ms Ward was not available for comment, however a spokesperson for the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA)said: “One of the early priorities for the new Combined County Authority is to develop a comprehensive plan for rail, bus, road and active travel for our region, alongside a programme of investment that delivers a transformational transport network for our residents, businesses and visitors.

“Ideas such as new road crossings of the Trent will no doubt feature in a long list of possible schemes that will need a great deal of technical assessment and evaluation as part of this process.

“Once the Mayor and Combined County Authority are satisfied that this process has been followed, we will be in a position to comment on specific schemes and proposals.”

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