Closures start as A453's widening plans continue
A STRETCH of the A453 will close for the first time this week as part of the road's widening project.
The eastbound carriageway around Clifton will be closed tomorrow and Thursday evening so vegetation can be cleared ahead of construction work, expected to start early next year.
The work will be carried out between 8pm and midnight, when there are less cars on the road, to minimise disruption for travellers. While work takes place, temporary traffic lights will be in place.
News that work is finally starting has been welcomed by campaigners who spent years calling for improvements.
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Notts County Council offered £20 million towards the project as an incentive for the Government to pay the rest, while the much smaller Rushcliffe Borough Council offered £500,000.
Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of the county council, said: "I'm delighted that work is getting under way on the A453.
"The improvements to this vital route will bring huge benefits to the Nottinghamshire economy and that if the East Midlands as a whole.
"Notts County Council and the local business community campaigned long and hard for its improvement, with the county council itself putting £20 million into the scheme.
"The sooner work gets started the sooner we can all look forward to less congestion along this primary gateway into Notts."
The Highways Agency is urging drivers to plan their journeys before they set out, and to leave extra time if they are going to be affected by this work.
Jonathon Pizzey, Highways Agency project manager for the A453, said: "In the interests of safety, to both workers and the drivers, it is necessary that closures are put in place to allow for the safe removal of vegetation situated close to the road.
"This is part of ongoing site clearance work that has been taking place since September in preparation for the A453 widening project, which aims to reduce congestion and lead to faster, more reliable journeys as well as improved safety on the route.
"We would encourage people to allow extra time for their journeys if they will be affected by this work.
"There will be some further evening works as necessary and we will give plenty of notice for these works once the detail of future lane closures is agreed."
Ecological work began over the summer, archaeological surveys have been carried out and fences installed. But none of this affected traffic on the A453 or surrounding roads.
The main work to widen the A453 is due to start between January and March next year.
However, not everybody is happy with the plans.
Nicola Judd, of Nobel Road in Clifton, said she had concerns that animals may lose their natural habitats with the removal of vegetation.
She added: "I know I'm in a minority. I'm not saying I don't want it but I don't understand why they had to go off route and chop through the countryside."
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