Plans for the A617 Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route (MARR) to be upgraded to a dual carriageway have received support.
Also known as Sherwood Way A617 the road runs from Sutton to Mansfield.
A motion on the upgrade was raised by Mansfield Independent Forum Councillors Stephen Garner, Andy Sissons, Martin Wright and Vaughan Hopewell and agreed at a full Nottinghamshire County Council meeting today, (Thursday 22 March).
The agreed motion was in recognition that MARR is an important highway for Mansfield’s and Ashfield’s economy and dualling the road would improve road links from the M1 through to the A617 Rainworth bypass, linking towards A614 and surrounding areas and the A1 east of the county.
The council has recently spent £5.5m resurfacing the road, improving skid resistance and upgrading roadside barriers along 5 km of the route, which was funded by the department for transport.
Councillor John Cottee, chairman of the County Council’s communities and place committee, said: “I was delighted to support the motion tabled by our Mansfield Independent Forum colleagues. The county council recognises the dualling of the MARR as a priority as it is a key route into central Nottinghamshire from the M1 which supports local businesses and jobs.
“Dualling the road would improve traffic flows and accommodate more vehicles to travel along it and we are currently carrying out a feasibility study to look at the options for this upgrade.
“This is a key transport scheme and a priority set out in our Place Departmental Strategy. We have a technical study underway to look at feasibility. There are no conclusions as yet, and there are still some practical and spatial hurdles to overcome in order to dual the full length of the route, but we certainly support the concept and will continue to work to try to make it happen.”
Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP, said: ''I'm very supportive of any attempts to improve our local transport infrastructure and particularly the MARR route which is not fit for purpose as it stands.
"The support of the county council is very welcome and I've already been pushing Government hard for investment in this key east/west connection for the county.
"The Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling came with me a few months ago to look specifically at this route and the issues getting in and out of Mansfield, I've subsequently pressed him to put any funding opportunities down in writing for our highways team to look at, and I will be meeting with the relevant officers and the portolio holder responsible for this in April.
"It's good to see that Coun Garner and the MIF are on board with attempts to get this major infrastructure investment for Mansfield.''
The road was originally opened in December 2004 at a cost £31m and has enabled a major housing and business development to be constructed to the south of Mansfield, known as the The Lindhurst Scheme.
The Lindhurst development, which is currently under construction, includes 23 hectares of land earmarked for new businesses, 1,700 new homes, a community park, shops and bus links.
It will also include green routes, a new school, sports and other community facilities.
It is anticipated the Lindhurst development will bring over £70m of investment into Nottinghamshire, creating many jobs and economic growth opportunities from new businesses.