Multi-million plan to ease congestion at troublesome Rugby junctions is approved

The plans include a new roundabout at Hunters Lane and Newbold Road
The plans include a new roundabout at Hunters Lane and Newbold Road

A multi-million pound plan has been approved to ease traffic congestion at one of Rugby’s most troublesome junctions.

The proposal to expand the Avon Mill roundabout on Newbold Road and create a new road from Technology Drive to Hunters Lane has been approved by the county council.

I’ve seen crash after crash around here, especially in the evenings, and more cars coming from Technology Drive will probably make it worse

Mac Mckenzie, manager of the Avon Mill Inn

The Avon Mill roundabout will be enlarged and pedestrian and cyclist crossings will be added.

The two-lane entries and exits at Avon Mill on the A426 and A4071 Newbold Road will be extended and a second bridge put in over the River Avon.

But manager of the Avon Mill Inn in Newbold Road, Mac Mckenzie, said the changes will have a big impact on his business.

“The roadworks would cripple me and it would be an absolute nightmare. If people have to queue for 20 minutes to come in then they just won’t come in,” he said.

“I can’t see how a second roundabout will help at all. It will mean there’s more cars and more queues. I’ve been here for 23 years and the traffic is no better now than it was then.

“I’ve seen crash after crash around here, especially in the evenings, and more cars coming from Technology Drive will probably make it worse.

“I agree that something should be done to improve congestion around here but these plans don’t seem like the right answer. Maybe traffic lights at the current roundabout would help people who want to turn right on to Leicester Road.”

As part of the redevelopment of the former Alstom/GEC site, a new link is due to be constructed from Technology Drive which runs through the site to Hunters Lane.

Once the link is formed, Hunters Lane will become a through route between A426 Newbold Road and Technology Drive. A new roundabout will be added to the junction with Newbold Road to cope with the increased number of vehicles.

A further scheme is also proposed on the A426 Leicester Road corridor to provide a dedicated cycle link between new housing and employment at Gateway Rugby, Rugby Railway Station and the town centre.

The cost of this is estimated at £500,000 and developers have contributed £257,000 to the project. The county council hopes to find additional funding as the project begins.

The total project capital cost of the Avon Mill and Gateway schemes is estimated at £8.260m.

In November 2014, Warwickshire County Council submitted a bid for £4.5m funding towards the scheme through the CWLEP Strategic Economic Plan for Local Growth Deal funding from the Government. The scheme has been granted ‘reserve status’ by CWLEP for potential funding post 2016/17 should delivery of other schemes slip.

A funding contribution of £1.7m towards the scheme has been secured in association with the development of a Climafuel facility at Malpass Farm.

A further contribution of £2.06m towards the project has been secured associated with developments at Gateway Rugby and at the former Rugby Radio Station site.

It is likely to be received after the scheme is completed and it may therefore be necessary for the county council to fund the construction costs in the short term until these money has been received.