Scheme to tackle tailbacks on Leicester Road shortlisted for funding - The Rugby Observer

Scheme to tackle tailbacks on Leicester Road shortlisted for funding

Rugby Editorial 28th Aug, 2019 Updated: 29th Aug, 2019   0

A CONGESTION-busting revamp of the Avon Mill roundabout has been shortlisted for government funding.

A proposal to tackle tailbacks in and around Leicester Road by enlarging the roundabout has been included in a priority list for government funding by transport body Midlands Connect.

The plan includes widening all entries to the roundabout to three lanes, and improving the exits on the A426 Leicester Road and A4071 Newbold Road.

The junction between Newbold Road and Hunters Lane would be replaced with a new roundabout, which would connect to Avon Mill via a short dual carriageway on a new bridge over the River Avon.

The proposals – which also include a new segregated foot and cycleway – have been tabled to help Rugby cope with extra traffic generated by 12,400 new homes due to be built by 2031.

The scheme is due to cost an estimated £22million. Midlands Connect has requested £17million from the government, with the remaining costs to be met by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and developers.

The scheme could be completed by 2025 if funding is secured.

WCC transport and planning spokesman Coun Jeff Clarke said: “I am delighted to see that the proposed improvements at Avon Mill – which will benefit all road users – have been included in Midlands Connect’s priority schemes for investment, given the scheme’s key role in supporting the major economic growth aspirations of the town.

“We look forward to working with Midlands Connect and the Department for Transport to develop the full business case for the scheme and hope to see it implemented as soon as possible.”

Midlands Connect’s head of technical programmes Simon Statham said Rugby needed a reliable road network to create jobs and build new homes.

He said: “Warwickshire County Council provided compelling evidence that this scheme will help create new jobs and homes, ease congestion for road users and encourage more walking and cycling by targeting improvements at one of the busiest congestion pinch points in the area.”

The scheme is among 11 in the Midlands recommended to the Department for Transport, as part of a £3.5billion fund available from 2020-2025.

The fund covers upgrades to the Major Road Network (MRN), a new category of the busiest and most economically important local authority ‘A’ roads.

In 2015, WCC greenlit a similar scheme for just £9million.

The following year, a WCC spokesperson said the council was reviewing cost estimates for the scheme and undertaking further design work – including drainage and bridge design principles, environmental considerations, a review of utilities, liaison with landowners and occupants of affected properties, and planning requirements.

The Observer is awaiting a response from WCC as to why the estimated cost of the scheme has risen.

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