THE WAITING game to find out if Hucknall’s controversial inner bypass will be built is set to come to an end early in the New Year, it has been revealed.
The plans for the road, in various formats, have been in the pipeline since the 1930s. Last year, it looked as if the work on the project, which is aimed at linking Annesley Road with Station Road, would finally go ahead.
The previous Labour government pledged £10 million towards the £13 million project, which also includes part pedestrianisation of the High Street.
But the coalition government stalled the plans after shaving billions from Department of Transport budgets.
However the scheme wasn’t completely torpedoed. Notts County Council was invited to present a case to Whitehall explaining why the scheme should go ahead and why it deserves such a large slice of funding when the country is experiencing the most widespread spending cuts in a generation.
Now, at a meeting of Hucknall Partnership Group, Coun Mick Murphy (Con), a Hucknall member of the county council, has disclosed that the “best and final” application has been submitted to the government.
A final decision is expected in mid-January. There is then the possibility of a public inquiry.
Coun Murphy and the town’s Conservative MP, Mark Spencer, have long campaigned for a firm answer on whether the road will go ahead.
“We just want to know,” said Coun Murphy. “All I want is the best for the residents of Hucknall but we can’t move on and achieve that until someone makes a final decision.”
The plan for the inner bypass would see a 400-metre stretch of road installed, with High Street pedestrianised between its junctions with Watnall Road and Baker Street. It is viewed by many as a key part of the regeneration of the town centre.
Coun Ian Morrison, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council, said a meeting of the town’s area consultative group agreed there should be more public consultation on plans for the road.