New relief road for Kirkby-in-Ashfield 'is not enough'
RESIDENTS say they welcome a new relief road which will help ease congestion near a new housing development in Kirkby-in-Ashfield – but still feel more could be done to improve traffic.
They were speaking at a public consultation event on the £200 million Mowlands development on the west of the town. The project will see up to 1,800 new homes built as well as a new primary school and a 120-acre community park.
And there will also be a £10 million relief road intended to ease traffic issues around the Sutton Road area.
Retired local council worker Maureen Sharman, 70, who attended the consultation event on Friday, said: "They are dangling the possibility of a relief road in front of us, but they really need to sort out the traffic at the Nags Head crossroads.
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"That whole area is congested, and until that gets sorted out I don't see what this road will do. One relief road isn't enough. It might relieve the new estate, but there are outstanding problems to consider."
Retired accountant David Ball, 63, of Westminster Avenue, said: "I'm against the development. But the real problem is within Kirkby town centre. This development does nothing to solve or reduce traffic issues there."
Robert Westerman, director of W. Westerman Ltd, which is proposing the scheme, says: "The district needs new businesses for the economy to recover and has to deliver at least 6,000 homes over the next 10 years for its growing population.
"Some are particularly worried about safety along Sutton Road due to the volume of traffic on the road and the number of pedestrians around Ashfield School. The relief road will bring a long-awaited solution to the problem."
John Dowson, head of policy at Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce believes the project is good news for Kirkby.
He said: "Obviously, it will have a positive impact on the local economy. Developers say 1,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with another 780 service sector jobs when the work is completed.
The area is renowned for traffic congestion, especially with its proximity to the M1 and Ashfield School.
Mr Dowson added: "Looking at this relief road, it would only be one end of the bottleneck that would be relieved. The local authorities are aware of this, and are looking into it."
The county council said it did not wish to comment at this stage.