Nottinghamshire County Council has published its ‘A611 Ashfield/Mansfield corridor junction improvement schemes’.
This involves work on the Coxmoor and Shoulder of Mutton Hill junctions on the A611 to take place in 2018-19. The accompanying study that it has commissioned from an independent firm is no doubt intended to justify applying for further government grants to carry out even more work.
I feel all of this confirms the county council’s intention to try to force an estimated extra 25 per cent of traffic through this inappropriate section of residential road on the edge of Kirkby, a section of road which is already operating at well over saturation levels at peak times.
Two independent studies, the one mentioned above and the Ashfield Transport Study, both confirm that no amount of feasible junction work will solve the congestion problem fully. The traffic predictions are likely to be underestimates because of the current situation concerning saturation and redistribution.
The county council is not fully implementing the proposals in the Ashfield Transport Study, and is not waiting for (or has not published) the final results of the study it has commissioned itself.
Local residents have been asking for a bypass for more than 20 years.
In a survey carried out in 2003 by the A611 Safety & Traffic Action Group, to which more than 190 local households replied, 90% wanted less traffic along Derby Road and 74% wanted a bypass. The county council states (without reasons) that a bypass is not justified for this road, yet is providing one for Gedling in what do not appear to be very different circumstances.
It is not surprising that the county council is, in my view, ignoring such localised opinion in pursuing its wider interests (in this case improving connections between Mansfield and the M1).
It is taking the cheapest short-term solution which will not solve the problem. What is worrying is that locally elected representatives at all levels and of all political persuasions seem to be tamely supporting the county council.
Why is nobody lobbying for what the residents want?
The serious accident on Thursday February 8 at the Badger Box/Forest Road junction between a HGV and a car highlights the conflict of interest between through traffic and local needs, and the continuing danger even when the junction is traffic light controlled.
This accident appeared to be of a type that has been happening for more than 20 years.
Those who compromise on safety because of the cost should have to account for their actions.
People have written before about the danger to pedestrians from drivers ignoring the yellow box junction and red traffic lights at this same junction. Nothing has been done about that either.