The A453 is getting closer

It seems my cynicism about the start date for the A453 may have been slightly misplaced. I was of the view that we would see some bright yellow diggers and lots of minor celebrities sod cutting – in the weeks before a general election.

But apparently not. There is news that The Government has brought forward the dualling of the A453. It is suggested that the preparatory work will begin ‘within weeks’ and the road will be complete by the end of 2014 or early 2015 at the latest. It is long overdue as this is the worst possible access to the City from the South. The 10 miles trench is frequently log jammed. Accidents just cause tailbacks into Clifton or onto the motorway.

The extension of the Enterprise zone from the current Boots site to the Beeston former Siemens site, Science Park and Medi-Park will all benefit from this major infrastructure improvement.

The works are expected to cost between of £141m and £194m, with Nottinghamshire County Council contributing £20m and Rushcliffe Borough Council £500,000.

This really is good news as with the completion of the tram line extensions due to complete at the same time, Nottingham really will have excellent transport.

But all of this is coming at a cost. In the short term we will have some major upheaval, which is always difficult – especially for businesses. The tram is costing businesses the Workplace Parking Levy – which is a significant sum. Trams are, in my view too expensive. It can be cheaper to park in a car park for a couple of hours than pay a return ticket for two adults. I know there is fuel cost, but it’s not attractive enough a proposition.

But it is good news that the City’s infrastructure is being improved – not a moment too soon!

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A453 good news for Nottingham (?)

After my previous blog post here, I had rather given up on the widening of the A453. The previous Transport Secretary was ‘not convinced’ of the business case for the Road. He clearly hadn’t queued on it!

Last week, my tongue in cheek Christmas wish list included the widening…

I nearly choked on my coco-pops when I heard the news that George Osborne had announced in his Autumn Statement that we were going to get the Road sorted once and for all. You can read his statement here. But, being a suspicious type I just wonder what the announcement actually means. Politicians are like lawyers with words – careful!

He said, “We can today give the go ahead around the country to 35 new road and rail schemes that support economic development…In the Midlands…the A453 link…will all be improved.”

So we have the go ahead. And it will be improved. It supports economic development (he must have forgotten that chat with Philip?).

But behind these attention grabbing headlines where is the detail. The detail on the state of the economy was there – it was a bit down- beat. Growth at less than 1% for the next 2 years (and I am still to come across anyone whose business is growing). Europe might make it worse…

So, without wishing to be the ungrateful kid for the kind ‘offer’ on the table, when do the contractors arrive? When will the work start – and when will open for bombing down to the M1? What strings are attached? Is the route fixed? When we get this sort of detail, I will then be able to thank Santa properly. Until then, I hope you don’t mind if I reserve judgement?