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Pupils plant a Major Oak tree at £49m Colliery Way ( Gedling Access Road ) on opening day

Pupils from Carlton Le Willows Academy in Gedling are set to help Colliery Way establish roots in the local community to mark its official opening next week.

The year seven pupils will play a key part at the official opening event by planting a Major Oak sapling on site alongside Nottinghamshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Mike Quigley MBE.

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The planting will complement the ecological measures put in place throughout the construction of Colliery Way, previously known as the Gedling Access Road, which include 53,000 new trees, seven badger tunnels, seven bat hop-overs and six amphibian tunnels, as well as improved pedestrian and cycle links to Gedling Country Park.

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The new road will be open to members of the public from 1.30pm to 5pm on Monday 21 March to explore the route on foot or by bike.  Marshalls from Balfour Beatty will be on site to direct people, and they will also have some kids’ activity sheets with colouring pencils to help younger children explore with their families.

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Councillor Mike Quigley MBE, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “I am looking forward to marking the official opening of this long-awaited road and delighted that the pupils from Carlton Le Willows school can help me plant a major oak sapling from Sherwood Forest to commemorate the occasion.

“I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in working on this road, which has been in the pipeline for over 50-years.  We’ve been through some challenging times in the last couple of years and this road is testament to successful partnership working and the support of local people.”

Carlton le Willows Academy Headteacher Craig Weaver said: “We are pleased that the children have the opportunity to be involved in this tree planting and raise their awareness of local ecological initiatives, which are balanced against local human need for wider infrastructure and communication projects.”

Stephen Semple, Area Director at Balfour Beatty, said: “The opening of the Gedling Access Road concludes two years of hard work, and is testament to the unwavering dedication and expertise of our 120 strong team.

“Once opened, the Gedling Access Road will significantly improve journey times for the travelling public and we hope that this fantastic, new piece of infrastructure will provide a lasting, positive legacy for generations to come.”

Tara Kennedy, Senior Development Manager at Homes England said: “Transforming brownfield land into thriving community spaces is at the heart of what we do, and we’re pleased to work with Nottinghamshire County Council, Gedling Borough Council and Keepmoat Homes to create a new neighbourhood at the former Gedling Colliery called Chase Farm. Together with Keepmoat, we’ve invested £24m in the construction of the Gedling Access Road, which provides a crucial new road that will take through traffic off the local network.

“The opening of the Gedling Access Road marks a significant milestone for Chase Farm – it means the final phase of the development, which will see a range of high-quality new homes built to meet the needs of local people, can begin.”

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE said: “This project has been a long time in the making and I’m proud to see the results of all those years of hard work have led to this road becoming a reality.

“I’d like to thank our residents and businesses for their understanding during disruptions this development has caused, as well as to our partners who we’ve collaborated with, working closely to ensure this project is completed and can begin to bring real benefits to the area.”

Shaun Fielding, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat Homes said “The regeneration of Colliery Way and the accompanying ecological measures align greatly with our commitment to building sustainable communities and quality homes. The opening of Colliery Way will allow greater access for motorists and pedestrians travelling through and visiting the area, whilst also enhancing and preserving the local wildlife, enabling it to flourish in the area.

“We’re thrilled to welcome pupils from the local academy, along with members of the public, as we commemorate this special occasion.”

The £49 million road will link the A612 with Mapperley Plains and will improve journey times, reduce congestion through Gedling Village and bring new homes, jobs and businesses to the area.

Works on the 3.8km of new road began in January 2020 and construction teams have since moved 512,000 cubic metres of earth, equivalent to 204 Olympic swimming pools, laid 45,816 tonnes of tarmac and installed 30 kilometres of drainage pipes and cable ducts.

Traffic will be able to use the new road from midday on 22 March.

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