Nottingham City Council is working with the Highways Agency and Taylor Woodrow Alstom, who are responsible for the A453 widening scheme and tram extension construction works respectively, to ensure vital public transport links are provided to parts of the Clifton estate which would otherwise be cut off when major works to remodel the Green Lane junction start this weekend.
The news follows an announcement at the end of last week that NCT will be suspending some bus services and rerouting others because roadworks, which are due to be undertaken by the Highways Agency, will see part of the Green Lane junction close to traffic for up to eight weeks.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, explains: "The ideal situation would be that the Highways Agency reconsider starting their works on the A453 after Taylor Woodrow Alstom can reopen Farnborough Road to traffic, but if they are not able to achieve this then we will be seeking a joint solution between all the parties involved to ensure that both sets of works are coordinated, that every opportunity is explored to maximise access into the Clifton estate, that the works are delivered as quickly as possible and that Clifton residents are provided with a vital public transport link to shops and services in the centre of Clifton while the works take place."
Following discussions throughout the weekend, Nottingham City Council Leader Councillor Jon Collins and Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood have called an urgent meeting to bring all parties involved together to try to ensure that if the works do have to go ahead they have explored all options, including whether a right-turn facility for buses could be retained, and that the various projects and the public transport operator work together to minimise disruption to those on the Clifton estate. A shuttle bus between Lark Hill, Nobel Road and Clifton centre should be running by the time the Highways Agency traffic restrictions are introduced, and the council is working on the details with the various bodies involved.
The City Council only learned last week of the Highways Agency's intention to close access between Green Lane (which is within the city's highway network) and the A453 (which is operated by the Highways Agency). Councillor Urquhart continued: "We have up until now received good co-operation from the Highways Agency on their project to expand the A453, but while we can't prevent them from carrying out this stage of the works, what we've already done is to insist that, as well as retaining the left turn in and left turn out of the estate from Green Lane, they are also to keep the right turn out of Green Lane into the A453, as Green Lane is within the city's control." Councillor Urquhart added: "While this is still not ideal we reacted instantly to insist that improvements that are within our powers were made straight away and now is the time for all parties to come together to ensure the best solution is achieved."
Cllr Urquhart added: "While the widening of the A453 and the tram extension to Clifton will make a huge difference in the long term to those living and working on the Clifton estate and beyond, it is vital that any relatively short-term disruption is kept to an absolute minimum and all the parties involved should act swiftly to ensure this happens."