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Uncategorized

Life in the shadow of one of the ‘worst’ roads in Nottingham that gets ‘really, really busy’

today2 July 2022 1

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More than two years after Nottingham was plunged into the worst traffic nightmare in living memory those living in the shadow of Clifton Bridge “hope it never happens again”. Work is currently taking place to widen a roundabout off the bridge and residents have reflected on the incident in light of the much-requested improvements.

Two bridges over the River Trent currently hold up one of the busiest routes in and out of the city with the first opening on June 5, 1958, the longest pre-stressed concrete bridge in the entire country at the time, and the eastbound bridge in 1972 alongside a huge flyover.

In February of 2020 the eastbound bridge was suddenly closed by National Highways for emergency repairs and the tens of thousands of vehicles which pass over it each and every day were left with little in the way of an alternative. Nottingham city centre, and further, became gridlocked for days and, for many, there was no end in sight for the catastrophe as commuters even considered leaving their jobs.

Read more: Nottinghamshire Police statement after major cordon in The Meadows

A painstaking £20m repairs project soon commenced, lasting more than 600 days, as the aging structure was strengthened. The bridge completely reopened in October last year.

Mandy Clarke, 35, who has lived in nearby Westerfield Way for four years, spoke of the closure more than two years later. She said: “That was a nightmare.

“I hope it never happens again. It was just trying to get back at 5pm. You could be stuck on the slip-road alone for 20 minutes.”

Fortunately Chris Hayball, construction manager of the project for National Highways, had previously told Nottinghamshire Live engineers had done all they could to hopefully prevent any further closures for the next 10 to 20 years. This included improving the drainage and waterproofing the road surface.

And now a new scheme is underway just months after the bridge reopened. The westbound entry from Clifton Boulevard will be widened to two lanes, along with the widening of the Clifton Lane roundabout to three lanes on the Westerfield Way side, and part-time traffic lights will be installed at the eastbound entry from the A453 due to the prevalence of traffic jams on this slip-road.

A new bus layby will also be created and a bus shelter relocated. Speaking of this Ms Clarke added: “[Clifton Lane] is the worst. It gets really, really busy and it’s a nightmare trying to come off the slip-road.”

And Linda Harwood, who has lived in the shadow of the bridge for 26 years, said it had been much quieter since the infamous closures. She added: “It has been nice and quiet really. I do miss the bus stop to Clifton as I have to walk further up now.

“Time will tell if people think because there is an extra road they can come this way more. To me it has been fine.”

National Highways says it has “listened to the local community”, particularly those in Westerfield Way, on the concerns surrounding the roundabout to design the scheme. It says: “The project will improve safety with changes to the junction layouts to reduce congestion and turning conflicts and introduce traffic lights to manage the flow of traffic through the junctions safely and more effectively.

“The current congestion and delays are significant constraints to future investment and economic growth. The improvements planned at the junctions along the A52 will relieve congestion and encourage continued investment in the regional economy and support new corporate, commercial and residential opportunities; such as the Edwalton Housing development and proposed developments around Radcliffe on Trent.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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