Major tram scheme road closure from next month will last a year
WORK on the tram extension – which will mean a main route between Beeston and Chilwell closed – will begin towards the end of March, it has been revealed.
During construction, Chilwell Road will be closed to through traffic for a year in total – six months each for two different sections – but will remain open for pedestrians and escorted deliveries to businesses.
One trader in Chilwell Road said the work would be like a "step into the unknown".
Philippa Double, who runs Double Image Photography, said: "We all know it's coming and it's important that we keep the message out there that we will be open for business. It is difficult and businesses do have concerns. It's a bit like a step into the unknown, really."
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Notts County Council has sought assurance from tram bosses that the work will be completed as quickly as possible. The authority has also specified that off-street parking must be in place before the road closure begins.
Richard Jackson, chairman of the council's transport and highways committee, said: "We have asked NET to prove to us that it is necessary to close the road to through traffic to carry out the work.
"We now have that information, which shows that the risks to public safety would be unacceptable if the road was kept open to traffic.
"We also agree that to do it any other way would lead to a much longer period of construction. That is the last thing we need for local businesses."
Originally, the plans were to close the road one-way for nine months and then close it the other way for another nine months, but these were changed in October last year.
Mr Jackson added: "We also asked for an assurance that there will be a net increase in parking spaces once the road closure happens and this has always been our aim, as it is vital to keep the shops open."
Chris Deas, NET Phase Two project director for Nottingham City Council, said: "We've been working closely with the county council, Broxtowe Borough Council, local traders and businesses to plan the most appropriate way to undertake the tram construction works on Chilwell Road.
"It has always been our intention to ensure that appropriate parking and access arrangements are maintained to ensure that the Chilwell Road shops can trade as normal, and all customers continue to visit the area."