On Monday 12 October, Warwickshire County Council approved the Cabinet decision to invest nearly £21.5m of its Capital Investment Fund to deliver a transformation of Nuneaton’s transport infrastructure
The funding, part of the wider Transforming Nuneaton project, will come from the county council's Capital Investment Fund (CIF) and will be used to make improvements to major junctions on the ring road, alleviating congestion and improving facilities for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
The improvements to Nuneaton’s roads will not only make the town more attractive for residents and visitors, but also to potential developers and businesses. They form part of a larger programme of transport improvements which aim to:
- Support schemes which will regenerate and repurpose the town centre environment to meet today’s need
- Attract economic investment into Nuneaton Town Centre, thus maximising the rate of employment, business growth and skill levels in Warwickshire.
- Improve access and connectivity to, and within, the town centre by all modes, focusing on delivering sustainable transport infrastructure
- Accommodate for increased transport demand through Local Plan growth and the implementation of the Transforming Nuneaton masterplan
- To support Warwickshire County Council’s Climate Change Emergency declaration
- To deliver improvements which encourage low-carbon, sustainable modes
Among the key projects now approved are:
A444/Corporation Street / Powell Way - The existing ‘Dandelion’ roundabout will be removed and replaced with a four arm signalised crossroads. Planners say this will cause a significant reduction in queues on Corporation Street and reduce queues in the Midland Road/Corporation Street Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) as well as improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. Also included within this scheme is a new four arm signalised junction at the A444 / Abbey St junction, to provide improved bus access into the town centre. If the Dandelion fountain needs to be removed, it will be relocated elsewhere.
A444/Queens Road - The road will be widened to allow for a new bus lane that will provide improved public transport accessibility at the junction. The wider road will benefit drivers and cyclists alike.
A444/Wheat Street - Provision of a fourth arm to an existing three arm signalised junction to open up development along Wheat Street west (Vicarage Street Development Site). This will also provide improvements to cyclist/pedestrian facilities.
A444/Leicester Road/Back Street/Bond Street/Regent Street - This scheme will remove the existing one-way gyratory system and replace it with a four-arm roundabout. Approximately 420 metres of one-way system will be removed. Proposed toucan crossings on Leicester Road arm, Vicarage Street and A444 west approach, along with the existing alignment of Regent St will provide greatly improved cyclist and pedestrian facilities.
Current plans are feasibility drawings only. The county council will engage with local stakeholders as the designs progress.
Cllr Jeff Clarke, portfolio holder for transport and planning at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Transforming Nuneaton is about creating a vibrant town centre for residents and visitors. But it’s also about creating a town that is an attractive investment opportunity for prospective businesses which will greatly stimulate the local economy and create employment. The transport infrastructure is absolutely critical to that. This is a real statement of intent that we are committed to improving the town centre and sends that message out to any potential investors.
“But while we are boosting the economy, the schemes also demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change, reducing congestion and improving air quality as active and sustainable travel are at the heart of all of these schemes. Residents will see real benefits from the planned works to their journeys to, and around, the town.”
Cllr Julie Jackson, leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “Improving access to our town centre, and reducing traffic congestion, are key elements of our Transforming Nuneaton proposals. It is good to see this programme of investment coming forward from Warwickshire County Council at this important time for our town and our borough. These are changes to our town centre roads system that will have a significant impact on the appearance and experience of the town centre and its ring road.”
Transforming Nuneaton is a partnership between Warwickshire County Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. It is aiming to create a vibrant town centre with a mix of accommodation, office space, a community hub in the form of a public building (library), and great transport links.
Further information can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/transformingnuneaton