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£3.1m cure for jams


A £3.1m scheme to reduce congestion at Ollerton roundabout will not stop traffic cutting through the village, it has been claimed.

Plans to increase the diameter of the roundabout from 37 metres to 60 metres were given the go-ahead by Nottinghamshire County Council’s cabinet on Wednesday.

Work is expected to start in 2010, subject to land and money being available.

Regular queues at the roundabout prompt many drivers to seek alternative routes through Ollerton village and surrounding villages.

Mr Brian Smith, the chairman of Traffic Reduction in Ollerton, said the planned improvements would not deter people from cutting through the village.

“It will not stop people coming through,” he said. “It is shorter and quicker to do so.

“People do it even in the middle of the night when there is no traffic.

“What difference is it going to make to us?”

He said there would always be queues at the roundabout at peak times even after the improvements.

“We are very unhappy that we are going to have to put up with this nuisance, damage and danger for the next two or three years,” said Mr Smith.

The bigger roundabout will allow two entry lanes on all approaches and two lanes of circulating traffic on the roundabout.

The plans include realigning the Newark Road bus link to join the A616 Ollerton Road.

There will also be toucan crossings on the A614 and the A6075 for pedestrians and cyclists.

Mr Smith said the two lanes on the approaches to the roundabout did not stretch back far enough.

He said the left-hand lane on the A616 from Ollerton should be longer so traffic turning left towards Nottingham could move into the lane earlier and reduce the length of the queue.

He said the campaign group preferred an alternative option of a junction controlled by traffic lights, which the county council turned down. It would have required significantly more land than the chosen option.

A report to the county council’s cabinet said a junction controlled by signals would be more complex and could pose dangers and difficulties for drivers, particularly if the lights failed.

Mrs Stella Smedley, the cabinet member for environment, said: “This decision will mean less congestion for motorists travelling through this part of the county but, more importantly, it will mean that local people can rest easier knowing that their streets are not being used as a rat-run.”

Detailed design work will now start on the approved scheme and council officers will begin negotiations to buy the private land that is needed.

A report will be made to cabinet when the advanced design and costings have been completed.

There are plans for further public consultation on possible additional traffic restrictions in Ollerton village which, subject to public support, would be implemented to coincide with the completion of the roundabout.

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