Rugby’s gyratory system is to get extra lanes and signals, while plans for pedestrianisation have been put on hold, it has been announced.
As a result of the recent public consultation by Warwickshire County Council, proposals to pedestrianise parts of North Street and Church Street will 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.
A county council spokesman 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.”
The authority says the changes are supported by a wide range of organisations, including Rugby Borough Council, bus company Stagecoach, town centre management company Rugby First and green transport group Sustrans.
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; additional lanes on the circulatory carriageway and on the Dunchurch Road and Bilton Road approaches; and “major improvements” for pedestrians and cyclists, including a shared-use footpath and cycleway and upgrades to the existing signal crossings.
But much-criticised proposals to ban private cars from North Street and Church Street have been put on hold.
The spokesman added: “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.
“In view of this commitment and public reaction to the consultation it has been decided to focus our resources to 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’ ended 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. See www.warwickshire.gov.uk/rtcenhancement for more information.