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£500m plans to widen A46 and build bridge over A1 in Nottinghamshire

The government will consider plans to widen and restructure the A46 bypass around Newark.

The £500m scheme has been formally submitted by National Highways with the hopes of easing the constant traffic problems in the area.

It would create a bridge over the A1, cutting out two frequently congested roundabouts on the route between Nottingham and Lincoln.

Around four miles of road would also be widened to a dual-carriageway between the Farndon roundabout and the A1.

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The Farndon and Winthorpe roundabouts would also be widened, and access to and from the A1 will be improved by upgrading the Brownhill and Friendly Farmer.

The Cattle Market roundabout would be turned into a flyover junction.

The scale of the works means it is considered a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ and won’t be decided by Nottinghamshire County Council.

The plans are currently in the pre-examination stage, meaning anyone who wants to have their say must register with the Planning Inspectorate.

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The examination will begin later this year, and usually takes around six months.

The Inspectorate will then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport – currently MP Mark Harper – who will have the final say.

Around 16,000 vehicles pass along the relevant section of the A46 each day.

The high volume of traffic is on top of the area being an accident hotspot, with 77 collisions reported between 2017 and 2021.

Transport group Midlands Connect says the improvements would lead to a 30 per cent reduction in journey times while making it safer and more environmentally-friendly.

Chairman Sir John Peace said as plans were revealed last year: “Newark is the missing piece of the puzzle for the A46 and Midlands Connect’s firm and strong recommendation is for the government to grasp the nettle and finish this vital upgrade of the Trans Midlands trade corridor.

“It will make a massive difference for Newark, Nottinghamshire but also the Midlands and the wider UK.”

Both Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire County Councils have also strongly backed the scheme.

Newark and Sherwood District Council will be involved as the owner of the land which will be expanded into.

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