As a result of the recent public consultation by Warwickshire County Council, proposals to pedestrianise parts of North Street and Church Street are going to be reconsidered. Meanwhile works will commence next year on planned improvements elsewhere in the town, such as Avon Mill roundabout and opening up Hunters Lane, which will offer significant improvements to the overall transport network in the town.
A statement from the county council on the gyratory scheme said: “The scheme has been designed to address the impact of significant future housing and employment growth in Rugby on traffic flow through the town and is supported by a wide range of organisations including the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Rugby Borough Council, Stagecoach Warwickshire, Rugby First and Sustrans. A local contribution is required from the Council’s Transport Capital Programme.”
Included in the upgrade will be new traffic signals on the A428 Lawrence Sheriff Street, A426 Dunchurch Road and B4642 Bilton Road approaches to the gyratory and on the circulatory carriageway to better manage the flow of traffic; additional lanes on the circulatory carriageway and on the Dunchurch Road and Bilton Road approaches to increase the number of vehicles that can be accommodated on the Gyratory; and major improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, including a new shared-use foot and cycleway and upgrades to the existing traffic signal crossings.
A statement from Warwickshire County Council said: “The results of the consultation clearly show directly opposing views between the business community and public. In response, the partnering authorities have sought to balance a decision that best serves business in the future, whilst allaying key areas of public concern.
“One of the concerns was the predicted displacement of traffic as a result of the scheme and the ability of the Town Centre traffic network to cope with additional pressure.”
On Friday December 13 the Department for Transport announced the county council had been successful in a bid for pinch point funding - money specifically for relieving traffic problems - to improve Rugby’s gyratory.
The statement concluded: “In view of this commitment and public reaction to the consultation it has been decided to focus our resourcesto ensure the road works are completed in time for the Rugby World Cup in the Autumn of 2015.
“In the interim period we will reappraise the town centre Scheme, now with a clearer understanding of where the scheme needs to be revised to respond to the concerns raised during the consultation.”
The eight week consultation for the Rugby Town Centre Enhancement scheme concluded on October 25 having taken in two days of public consultation and a series of exhibitions held throughout Rugby.
In total, 758 representation from the public, and businesses were received, in addition to those from bus, and taxi operators, disability groups, and the emergency services. The partnering authorities would like to thank all those who contributed to the consultation. See www.warwickshire.gov.uk/rtcenhancement for more information.