Shrewsbury roadworks disruption ‘will be worth it’
The next stage of a multi-million pound revamp of Shrewsbury’s roads will start later this month. Shropshire Council said today the work would be worth the disruption in the long term.
Roadworks at the English Bridge Gyratory and Coleham Head are due to start on Monday, July 31, and will last for about three months. Council officials said the majority of the work will be carried out without road closures, although some closures will take place at the end of the scheme to re-surface the roads.
The resurfacing is due to take place at night to minimise disruption.
The move means motorists are likely to face delays in the area, although the council said that it hoped the lack of full road closures would mean less disruption than the current Reabrook Roundabout resurfacing.
The work, which is part of Shrewsbury’s £12 million Integrated Transport Package, will follow on from the Reabrook refurbishment – work which has faced a two-week delay and led to widespread criticism and a council apology.
Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, Steve Davenport, said the latest stretch of work will be temporarily halted so as not to affect Shrewsbury Flower Show. He also indicated that the Reabrook project is on target to complete by July 26.
The gyratory work includes the removal of a number of crossings, and the creation of three islands for pedestrians to cross.
It will also see the resurfacing of pavements, intended to give the Abbey Foregate area the same appearance as the town centre.
Councillor Davenport said the work will benefit Shrewsbury in the long term and would help to attract more tourists, benefitting local business.
He said: “All we can do is make things better with what we have in front of us, we can’t knock anything down, we can only improve what we have.
“We are thinking about cars, pedestrians, cyclists and trying to integrate everything and keep everyone moving and flowing in a manner everyone is happy with.”
He added: “Once it is done the proof of the pudding is in the eating but we certainly think it will make make the town feel more integrated and will help to encourage tourists and benefit business.”
Meanwhile, Shropshire Council says the delay to Shrewsbury's £12 million roadworks project will not lead to the project overrunning.
Ground conditions led to a delay in the work being carried out at Reabrook Roundabout but the next two stages, the English Bridge Gyratory and Coleham Head will overlap to ensure the entire project is completed by its October deadline., council officials have confirmed.
As part of the work at the gyratory crossings will be removed and a three new three-way islands will be created for pedestrians to cross.
The first will be at the end of the English Bridge, the second at the junction of Abbey Foregate and Old Potts way, and the third where Coleham Head meets the gyratory system.
A turning off Abbey Foregate onto Old Abbey Foregate will also be made tighter to slow the speed of traffic.
There will also be changes to the approach to the gyratory from Old Potts Road, with two lanes being created and traffic in the right-lane going towards the town centre, instead of merging after passing under the railway bridge as it does currently.
Traffic in the left hand lane will be filtered towards Coleham.
The pavements around the gyratory are also set to be resurfaced, to make them more attractive, and will be widened outside Shrewsbury Sixth Form College.
At Coleham Head a mini-roundabout will be created at the junction with Longden Coleham.
An extra pedestrian crossing will also be introduced.
The work will begin on Monday, July 31, and is expected to last for around three months.
The majority of the work is expected to be completed without full road-closures, although some will be needed towards the end of each part for the re-surfacing of the gyratory, the English Bridge, and the Coleham Head sections.
A spokesman for Shropshire Council said: "The purpose of the scheme is to enhance the area in its role as a key gateway to the town centre, benefitting motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and local businesses and services.
"During the work there will be several traffic management phases to ensure the safety of the travelling public and the workforce during construction. This will cause some disruption, however every effort will be made to keep any disruption to a minimum."