Rugby’s congested gyratory system could soon undergo a £1.5m makeover to improve traffic flow around the town centre.
A Rugby gyratory system improvement scheme, designed to manage traffic, make journey times more reliable, improve local air quality and make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to access the town centre, has been proposed.
Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is proposing to install traffic signals with pedestrian and cycling crossing facilities at the junctions of Dunchurch Road, Russelsheim Way and Bilton Road.
There are also plans to install a puffin crossing on A428 Lawrence Sheriff Street near Sheep Street and, subject to funding, a puffin crossing on Barby Road near Lawrence Sheriff Street.
Cllr Yousef Dahmash (Caldecott) said: “It has been clear for some considerable time that the gyratory system has been in desperate need of improvement. I think Rugby residents will be delighted that the long standing congestion and safety issues in this area of the town centre will soon be addressed.”
Other proposed changes to the gyratory system - which has become infamous within the town over the years - include an extension to the cycle lane in Bilton Road and the relocation of the bus stop across the road.
Under the scheme, the flower bed on the corner of Warwick Street and Lawrence Sheriff Street would be reduced, while the puffin crossing in Russelsheim Way would be upgraded to a toucan.
Cllr Peter Butlin, portfolio holder for transport and planning, at WCC said: “The scheme is an important investment in the future of Rugby which will help to support the local economy.”
“We have taken on board initial feedback from a number of local organisations and have designed a scheme which will improve the operation of the gyratory system for motorists whilst also making it more pedestrian and cycle friendly.”
Aftab Gaffar, managing director of Rugby First, added: “For a number of years the traffic on the gyratory has continued to increase and there are times when it just cannot cope. Any improvements are welcomed. The scheme can make a real difference to town centre businesses and the local economy.”
The plans have also been welcomed by Rugby Borough Council and MP Mark Pawsey ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015 when thousands of people from across the world are expected to descend on the town. It is expected that the improvements will cost around £1.5m - with £1m coming from Government funding and a further £500,000 set aside by WCC.
Mr Pawsey said: “This money will bring forward much needed works at the site to solve the present congestion issues and also create safer routes in the town centre for cyclists and pedestrians.
“It is also very encouraging that the works will be completed in April 2015 before the start of the town’s Rugby World Cup celebrations when we are expecting many visitors who will be coming to learn more about the birthplace of the game.”
Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for economy, development and culture, added: “We’re delighted the county council plans to complete the Rugby Gyratory System improvement scheme before the start of the Rugby World Cup, when we expect to welcome visitors from around the world to the birthplace of the game.”
The detailed design work on the proposal will start in July 2014 with the intention of starting work on site in January 2015.
You can see the preliminary plans by either visiting Rugby Town Hall, Rugby Library, Shire Hall in Warwick or by clicking here PLANS