National Highways has unveiled its preferred route for a multi-million-pound scheme that will fill in the dual carriageway gap on the crucial A46 trade corridor which connects the M5 with Humber Ports.
The preferred route – Option 2 Modified – incorporates suggestions from the local communities for the upgrade of the road in Nottinghamshire following an extensive public consultation exercise.
As well as removing the bottlenecks which cause substantial congestion on the outskirts of Newark, the upgrade will bring smoother and more reliable journeys for the 17,000 drivers who use this nationally significant Trans-Midlands Trade Corridor, on average, every day.
Two options for the A46 Newark Bypass improvements were put forward by National Highways for consideration. More than 1,500 people responded to the public consultation while conversations were also had with groups likely to be directly affected by the scheme.
Option 2 was supported by 65% of those who responded and National Highways has now modified this proposal to include feedback from the consultation. A key change is taking the route further away from the village of Winthorpe.
National Highways Senior Project Manager, Michael Hillier, said: “This much-needed upgrade will bring safer and more reliable journeys both for the local communities enduring the current congestion and delays as well as drivers using this key trade corridor. The improvements will also provide an economic boost for communities across the region, supporting growth and development.
“We want to make sure that, as far as possible, the improvements to the A46 work for the community as a whole. We are determined to ensure that the views of road users and communities are fully considered throughout the design and delivery of this scheme.
“Congestion is only going to get worse here, so we want to act now to develop this modified route and help build a better, safer road network.”
Roads minister Baroness Vere said: “This is an exciting milestone for this essential project which will ease congestion for drivers, lower the risk of accidents, and give businesses a more reliable connection for trade.
“It’s important that local people had their voices heard during this process and I’m sure the proposed route will bring the community huge benefits, including boosting the economy in this vital region of the UK.”
The proposed route will:
- Widen the A46 to a dual carriageway to provide two lanes in each direction between the Farndon and Winthorpe junctions.
- Provide a new bridge over the A1 to the north of the existing bridge
- A flyover junction at Cattle Market with the A46 elevated to pass over the roundabout. This will separate through traffic from local traffic improving safety for all road users including pedestrians and cyclists
- Add traffic lights to Farndon junction to improve flows during peak hours
- Winthorpe junction will be enlarged to a five-arm roundabout with traffic lights to connect the new A46 link.
Following the announcement, a series of engagement events are taking place in the local area where members of the project team will be available to answer any questions. The events are taking place outdoors at:
- Thursday 3 March – from 9am to 1pm at the Lord Nelson pub, Gainsborough Road, Winthorpe, Newark, NG24 2NN.
- Friday 4 March – from 3pm to 8pm at the Lord Ted pub, Farndon Road, Newark, NG24 4SW.
- Saturday 5 March – from 9am until 2pm at Market Place, Newark NG24 1DU.
In addition there will be an online briefing about the preferred route taking place on Wednesday 9 March, from 6pm to 7pm. The link to join the meeting will be shared on the website here.
National Highways will now carry out further surveys and assessments to develop the design of the preferred route further.
Once designs have been completed it will then hold another public consulation to share more detailed proposals, seek local views and help to further shape the proposals.
It is expected that an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) will be needed to construct the scheme. This is made to the Planning Inspectorate who examine the application and then make a recommendation to the Transport Secretary who decides whether the scheme will go ahead or not.