Work has begun to provide major improvements at two busy Gloucester roundabouts.
In May last year the Department for Transport approved the county council’s bid for £2.2 million of funding to help tackle serious congestion on the A38 and A417, at the C&G and Walls roundabouts in the Barnwood area.
Today work started at Walls roundabout. It will be completed in July, with most of the major works finished by June.
Meanwhile, main construction work is planned to start at the C&G roundabout in June, with the completion of the overall scheme sometime later this year or early next year.
Although there will be a brief period when work is carried out on both roundabouts at the same time, lane closures won’t be in force at both concurrently.
The scheme costs £3.1m in total, which will be met with the £2.2m government funding, and the rest shared between Gloucestershire County Council and Sainsbury’s contributions.
It includes changes to the junctions, widening of lanes, new flexible traffic light systems and extra lanes.
Councillor Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “This is a big job, but we know just how important it is to invest in the county’s roads to drive the local economy forward. The work will not only contribute to improving the transport system in Gloucestershire, it will help the county to grow.
“Although some disruption is inevitable while this work is carried out, we’ve agreed working restrictions with the contractor to keep this to a minimum. However, we would also urge people who use these roundabouts to think about alternative ways to travel and please bear with us while the improvements are made.”
Since more and more businesses have opened up on the Barnwood Business Park and surrounding area, the roundabout and roads leading off it have become gridlocked with heavy traffic during peak times.
Customers of Sainsbury’s Barnwood store have reported delays of up to an hour in getting out of the store car park on occasions in the past.
The county council has been looking for a solution to alleviate the problem for some time.
The aim of the DfT’s pinch point funding is to deliver local highways projects that can unlock economic growth. Any funded scheme must be open to traffic by March 2015 and must cost under £5m. The DfT requires a local contribution to the cost of the scheme of at least 30%.
The council’s scheme includes:
C & G roundabout
Localised widening (3 to 4 lanes) and installation of traffic signals on the Barnett Way entry arm (there are no signals at the moment).
Replacement of the existing fix timed signals on all three remaining arms with a flexible computer-controlled system known as a MOVA.
Additional flared entry lanes (three to four lanes) from the A417 (Elmbridge Court approach) and A417 (Zoons Court approach).
Localised changes to signing and lining on the junction approaches.
Installation of new flexible computer-controlled traffic signal system, known as a MOVA, on three approaches of the Walls Roundabout (A417 Corinium Avenue approach; A38 Eastern Avenue and Barnwood Road (northern approach).
Localised widening to allow extra room for traffic on the A417 Corinium Avenue approach.
Increasing the number of lanes around the roundabout to three on the southern half of the roundabout.
The new signals will be compatible with emerging bus priority technology needed to pave the way for future improvements to the Number 10 Stagecoach ‘Gold’ route on the Barnwood Road corridor.
Repositioning of existing pedestrian crossing facilities to allow new crossings to be integrated with the new traffic signals.